A magazine hidden in the coat-tails of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol has been discovered 125 years later.
The copy of Tit-Bits magazine was found when the toppled monument to the slave trader was retrieved from the city’s harbour on Thursday.
It was carefully cleaned and dried, revealing handwritten notes of who had fitted the statue and the date – October 26 1895.
We ended up with two surprise additions. Firstly a bicycle tyre which emerged from the harbour with the statue, and then the discovery of a clue to the people who first installed it in Bristol: A 1895 magazine rolled up inside the coat tails. pic.twitter.com/u1KdupWpkU
— M Shed (@mshedbristol) June 11, 2020
Protesters pulled down the statue during a Black Lives Matter march in Bristol on Sunday before throwing it into the harbour.
Bristol City Council has confirmed the statue, complete with graffiti and some of the rope used to bring it down, will go on display in the M-Shed museum along with placards from the protest.
In a Twitter thread, the team at M-Shed said: “Despite only being in the water for a few days, mud had filled the inside and obscured the evidence of its journey into the harbour.
“We spent the morning removing mud from its inside with a hose and extendable brush.
“The painted graffiti was particularly at risk from the cleaning so this was done very carefully to ensure it wasn’t washed off”.
They added: “The symbolism of his graffitti’d body has been preserved and the significance it has for us will be an important story to tell.
“We ended up with two surprise additions. Firstly a bicycle tyre which emerged from the harbour with the statue, and then the discovery of a clue to the people who first installed it in Bristol: A 1895 magazine rolled up inside the coat tails.
“After careful cleaning and drying we found someone had handwritten the names of those who originally fitted the statue and the date on the inside pages”.
Source: PA Media