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Banksy designs T-shirt to aid statue-toppling defendants

LONDON (AP), Hundreds of people gathered Saturday in Bristol, England to see Banksy's latest work. The T-shirt was designed to support four defendants who were charged with removing a statue of a slave trader.

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Banksy designs T-shirt to aid statue-toppling defendants

The grey shirt has the word Bristol printed above the empty plinth where Edward Colston, a 17-century slave merchant, once stood. A rope hangs from it and other debris is scattered about.

Anti-racism protestors took down the statue and dumped it into Bristol Harbor in June 2020 amid worldwide protests over the killing of George Floyd, a Black American male.

Four people were charged with criminal damage for the statue's fall and will be tried next week.

Banksy posted on social media that she had made souvenir shirts for the occasion. Available at various locations in the city starting tomorrow. All proceeds will be given to the defendants for them to have a pint.

Banksy stated that the T-shirts are available in a limited number of sizes and cost $25 ($33).

Although Banksy's identity is not known, he started his career spray-painting walls in Bristol, a port town in southwest England. His works have been sold at auction for millions of dollars.

Colston was a wealthy man who transported enslaved Africans across Atlantic to the Americas aboard Bristol-based ships. Colston was a significant benefactor of Bristol. Many streets and institutions were named after him, some of which have been renamed following the controversy over racism and historical memorialization.

The Colston statue was rescued from the harbor by city officials who said it would be put in a museum along with the placards of Black Lives Matter protestors.

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