Banksy 'Colston Four' T-shirts sell for £2,000 on eBay

6 January 2022, 16:02 | Updated: 10 January 2022, 09:00

a T-shirt designed by street artist Banksy being sold to support "Colston Four"
a T-shirt designed by street artist Banksy being sold to support "Colston Four". Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A limited edition Banksy T-shirt, created to raise funds in support of the so called "Colston Four", have been listed for sale for thousands of pounds.

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The exclusive T-shirts created by the elusive street artist were available to buy for one day only in just five independent retailers in Bristol for £30.

Banksy himself is a Bristolian, and created the clothing to offer his support to the four people facing criminal damage charges after toppling a statue dedicated to slave trader Edward Colston.

The artist said the funds were raised "so they can go for a pint".

But the T-shirts and now being re-sold for hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds on online websites such as eBay.

One is currently listed for £2,000 and whilst few at that price have attracted bids, some have been sold for up to £1,000 and others are priced between £900 and £500.

Banksy has previously voiced his opinion about what should happen to the statue, taking to social media to say: "Rather than memorialising the slave trader himself, why not memorialise the moment his statue was torn down?

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"We drag him out the water, put him back on the plinth, tie cable round his neck and commission some life size bronze statues of protestors in the act of pulling him down," Banksy wrote on Instagram.

"Everyone happy. A famous day commemorated."

The so-called "Colston Four" were cleared by a jury for criminal damage on Wednesday.

Rhian Graham, one of the four people cleared by jurors following a trial at Bristol Crown Court, said this morning she was "very happy" with the verdicts.

Historian David Olusoga, who provided expert evidence for the defence at the trial of Rhian Graham, Milo Ponsford, Sage Willoughby, and Jake Skuse, welcomed the court verdicts.

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Speaking to LBC's James O'Brien, Mr Olusoga said: "At the heart of the court case was a question of whether history matters...

"The prosecution's argument was that this was a very simple case of criminal damage, and it didn't matter, in their contention, that this was a statue of a man who was involved in the enslavement and killing of thousands of people.

"And the defence wanted this to be a trial in which history was at the centre, because you can't understand, you can't make sense of what happened in the summer of 2020 unless we appreciate that this was a targeted political act against a man who was validated, whose career was celebrated in Bristol in the full knowledge that he was a mass murderer.

"This court case has recognised that there was another injury here being caused, to real people and their real emotions, rather than to a hunk of bronze and marble."