Toppled statue of 17th-century slave trader fished out of British harbor, taken to 'secure location'

A statue of a 17th-century slave trader that was toppled by anti-racism protesters in Bristol, England, has been fished out of the harbor by city authorities.

Bristol City Council says the bronze statue of Edward Colston was recovered early Thursday morning to avoid drawing a crowd. The council says it has been taken to a “secure location” and will end up in a museum.

In this photograph made available by Bristol City Council, the statue of Edward Colston is recovered from the harbour in Bristol, Thursday June 11, 2020, after it was toppled by anti-racism protesters on Sunday. The council says it has been taken to a “secure location” and will end up in a museum. Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic, and left most of his money to charity. (Bristol City Council via AP)

In this photograph made available by Bristol City Council, the statue of Edward Colston is recovered from the harbour in Bristol, Thursday June 11, 2020, after it was toppled by anti-racism protesters on Sunday. The council says it has been taken to a “secure location” and will end up in a museum. Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic, and left most of his money to charity. (Bristol City Council via AP)

Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic and left most of his money to charity. His name adorns streets and buildings in Bristol, which was once the U.K.’s biggest port for slave ships.

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The council says it has been taken to a "secure location" and will end up in a museum. Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic, and left most of his money to charity. (Bristol City Council via AP)

The council says it has been taken to a "secure location" and will end up in a museum. Colston built a fortune transporting enslaved Africans across the Atlantic, and left most of his money to charity. (Bristol City Council via AP)

After years of debate about what should happen to his statue, Black Lives Matter protesters hauled it down on Sunday and dumped it into the harbor.

The act has reinvigorated calls for the removal of other statues from Britain’s imperial past.

Officials in Bournemouth, southern England, say they plan to remove a statue of Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell because it might become a target. Like many Englishmen of his time, Baden-Powell held racist views and he also expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler.

In this photograph made available by Bristol City Council, the statue of Edward Colston is placed in the back of a truck after being recovered from the harbour in Bristol, Thursday June 11, 2020, after it was toppled by anti-racism protesters on Sunday. (Bristol City Council via AP)

In this photograph made available by Bristol City Council, the statue of Edward Colston is placed in the back of a truck after being recovered from the harbour in Bristol, Thursday June 11, 2020, after it was toppled by anti-racism protesters on Sunday. (Bristol City Council via AP)

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Council leader Vikki Slade said “we are removing the statue so that we can properly involve all relevant communities and groups in discussions about its future.”