Sir Tony Robinson says he wouldn't have thrown Edward Colston statue into harbour

Julia Hunt
·2-min read
Tony Robinson before handing in a Equity petition to 10 Downing Street seeking support for the creative industries.
Tony Robinson (PA)

Sir Tony Robinson has spoken out about the toppling of Bristol’s statue of slave trader Edward Colston, saying he “wouldn’t have chucked” it in the water.

The statue was removed and thrown into Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest this summer.

However, Blackadder and Time Team star Sir Tony told The Telegraph he would have tackled it differently.

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Protesters throw statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest rally, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Protesters throw statue of Edward Colston into Bristol harbour (PA)

“Personally I wouldn’t have chucked Colston’s statue in the dock,” he said. “But he was a slaver. He made a huge amount of money which went into the wonderful architecture of Bristol, including the house I lived in for 20 years.”

The star said that he would like to see the statue and the one that was erected afterwards (to Black Lives Matter activist Jen Reid) next to each other in a museum.

“That way they can themselves become part of our culture,” he said.

Sir Tony, 74 – who is known for his role as hapless Baldrick in Blackadder and as a presenter on Time Team - said that the debate around such objects should be welcomed.

He also noted that people’s understanding of history is moving quickly and that it makes sense to “rethink and reimagine”.

“We got to have these controversies,” he added.

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The statue of Colston was toppled in June and in July a figure of Reid was put up in its place.

A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020, by prominent British sculptor Marc Quinn, which has been installed in Bristol on the site of the fallen statue of the slave trader Edward Colston.
Jen Reid statue (PA)

However, the Reid statue was erected on the plinth without permission and it was removed shortly afterwards.

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