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Campaigners who want Edward Colston statue reinstalled block-book tickets to stop people visiting 

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‘Save our Statues’ campaigners who want Edward Colston statue reinstalled on its plinth block-book tickets to museum in a bid to stop people from visiting

  • The Save Our Statues campaign group is block-booking tickets to the M Shed
  • The museum is displaying the statue of Edward Colston, pulled down last June 
  • As of 9.20am today, the M Shed is fully booked until 11.30 on Thursday morning

Campaigners who want the statue of Edward Colston reinstalled are block-booking tickets to its new museum home – to stop people from visiting.

The bronze figure of the 17th century slaver was pulled down from its Bristol plinth last June and is now on temporary display at the M Shed museum at Princes Wharf.

But a new anti-display campaign is being led by Save Our Statues, a group who ‘run confident, high-impact political, educational and legal actions to save our country’s illustrious cultural heritage’.

The group’s Twitter profile posted an image of the museum’s bookings so far, adding: ‘It would be so embarrassing for them if nobody turned up… Remember, it’s free to book, so knock yourself out!’

As of 9.20am today, the M Shed is fully booked until 11.30 on Thursday morning.

The Save our Statues group said the act was a ‘perfectly civilised means of protest’, adding: ‘We must act where we can. Politely complaining on Twitter will not win this war.’ 

Campaigners who want the statue of Edward Colston reinstalled are block-booking tickets to its new museum home – to stop people from visiting 

The bronze figure of the 17th century slaver was pulled down from its Bristol plinth last June and is now on temporary display at the M Shed museum at Princes Wharf

The bronze figure of the 17th century slaver was pulled down from its Bristol plinth last June and is now on temporary display at the M Shed museum at Princes Wharf

A new anti-display campaign is being led by Save Our Statues, a group who 'run confident, high-impact political, educational and legal actions to save our country's illustrious cultural heritage'

A new anti-display campaign is being led by Save Our Statues, a group who ‘run confident, high-impact political, educational and legal actions to save our country’s illustrious cultural heritage’

The statue is displayed lying on a wooden stand at the museum, which is now also home to placards from the protest and a timeline of events. 

The authorities say its positioning is down to money and because it wants the public to tell them how it should be shown in future.  

One social media user contacted Bristol’s M Shed museum to tell them ‘some edge lord is getting people to book all the spaces’.

M Shed replied: ‘Thank you, we know. We’ll just be accepting more walk-ups than usual’. 

But the Save our Statues account added: ‘The statue is a Grade 2 listed piece of national heritage and there is a legal responsibility to repair the damage.’

One twitter user replied to the campaign page: ‘You’re the best ticket tout for Bristolian museums. Tuesday is now sold out so I booked plenty of tickets for Wednesday.’

Another criticised the tactic, claiming he had ‘called out the loony brigade for pulling a similar stunt on Nigel Farage’s recent events in US’, adding: ‘This isn’t cricket and our team are better than this.’

The Save our Statues group said: 'It's a perfectly civilised means of protest. We must act where we can. Politely complaining on Twitter will not win this war'

The Save our Statues group said: ‘It’s a perfectly civilised means of protest. We must act where we can. Politely complaining on Twitter will not win this war’

Protesters tied ropes around the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol city centre, before tearing it to the ground, June 7 2020

Protesters tied ropes around the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol city centre, before tearing it to the ground, June 7 2020

UWE professor, Dr Shawn Sobers, a member of the We Are Bristol History Commission, tweeted: ‘See how the Reactionaries are trying to stop anyone seeing the Colston display at @mshedbristol.

‘It’s too much for them that in a democratic society, people can choose to visit it for themselves and see the wider history, rather than the narrow narrative from the Colston Cult.’    

The bronze memorial to the 17th century merchant had stood in the city since 1895, but was pulled from its plinth during the demonstration on June 7 last year.

It was damaged as it was dragged through the city to the harbourside, where it was thrown in the water at Pero’s Bridge, which is named in honour of enslaved man Pero Jones who lived and died in the city.

Days later, the statue was recovered from the water by Bristol City Council and put into storage before months of work to clean and preserve the state it was in.

Members of the public are being asked by the We Are Bristol History Commission, which was set up following the protest, what should happen to it next.

Options include removing the statue from public view entirely, creating a museum or exhibition about the transatlantic slave trade, or restoring the statue to its plinth.

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