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Customers in Rough Trade in Bristol with their Banksy T-shirts Jacob King/PA
Edward Colston statue

Thousands queue to get Banksy t-shirts designed in aid of four defendants

Shops in Bristol were selling shirts for £25 plus VAT in aid of four people facing trial over criminal damage to the Edward Colston statue.

LAST UPDATE | 11 Dec 2021

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE have queued outside shops in Bristol to buy limited edition t-shirts designed by world-famous street artist Banksy.

Five stores across the city were each selling several hundred of the grey souvenir shirts, in aid of the four people facing trial in relation to the toppling of a statue of slave trader Edward Colston.

The shirts have a picture of Colston’s empty plinth with a rope hanging off, with debris and a discarded sign nearby and Bristol written above.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy)

Banksy said proceeds from the sale would be given to the four people facing trial next week in the city accused of criminal damage.

In a post on Instagram, Banksy said: “Next week the four people charged with pulling down Colston’s statue in Bristol are going on trial.

I’ve made some souvenir shirts to mark the occasion. Available from various outlets in the city from tomorrow. All proceeds to the defendants so they can go for a pint.

Bristol-based Banksy said sales would be limited to one per person and each T-shirt would cost £25 plus VAT.

The names of the five shops – Frontline Video in St Paul’s, Hakuna Matata, That Thing, Friendly Recs and Rough Trade – were announced on Saturday by local radio station Ujima Radio.

Hundreds of people queued outside the Rough Trade record shop in Bristol, among them were brother and sister Tom and Rosie Levins.

“When we got in the queue, I don’t think we were really confident,” Levins said.

Her brother added: “I collect all the Banksy stuff I can get hold off. When stuff comes up in Bristol and you get a chance…”

2.58374717 Milo Ponsford, Rhian Graham and Jake Skuse are three of the people facing trial Ben Birchall / PA Ben Birchall / PA / PA

On Monday Rhian Graham, 29, Milo Ponsford, 25, Jake Skuse, 36, and Sage Willoughby, 21, face trial at Bristol Crown Court.

The bronze memorial to the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June last year, before being dumped in Bristol Harbour and later recovered by Bristol City Council.

Charges allege that the four defendants, without lawful excuse, jointly and with others, damaged the statue of Edward Colston, a listed monument belonging to Bristol City Council.

It is claimed that the defendants committed the offence “intending to destroy or damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be destroyed or damaged”.

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