Edward Colston name removed from Colston Hall in Bristol

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Colston Hall name being removed
Image caption,
Work to remove Edward Colston's name from Colston Hall began on Monday morning

Officials at a music venue named after slave trader Edward Colston have removed his name from the building.

Bristol Music Trust, which runs Colston Hall, said removing the lettering - which started at 07:30 BST - was a "symbolic moment".

The building is near where the statue of the 17th Century slave trader was toppled last week.

The venue announced three years ago it would change its name. It said a new one would be announced later this year.

Bristol Music Trust said the removal of the lettering was "just one step on our road to announcing a new name".

'Symbolic moment'

"This is a symbolic moment and a public demonstration of the commitment we made three years ago to change our name," a spokesperson added.

"The name Colston has been divisive for many years and we have experienced strong views from both sides since our declaration in 2017 that we would be changing."

The trust said it had been working to understand the issues involved and said it had been consulting widely to find a new name.

Officials said the hall - built 150 years after Colston's death in 1721 - had not been "founded with any of his money".

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Bristol Music Trust said a new name would be announced later in the year

Colston made his fortune through human suffering and between 1672 and 1689, ships were believed to have transported about 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas.

The music trust added: "We cannot continue to be a monument to his memory.

"We have no wish to forget the past, but when we reopen our redeveloped building as one of the best arts and educational venues in the country, it must be as a place that is welcoming to everyone."

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The music trust said the venue "cannot continue to be a monument to his memory"

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