Vandals smash up grave of African slave after Black Lives Matter protesters topple statue of slaver Edward Colston

VANDALS smashed up the grave of an African slave in a revenge attack after anti-racism protesters toppled the statue of Edward Colston.

Two headstones marking the burial place of ‘Scipio Africanus’ were destroyed by vandals in Bristol who daubed the message “put Colston’s statue back”.

PA:Press Association

Vandals have smash up the grave of an African slave at St Mary’s Churchyard in Henbury, Bristol[/caption]

It comes after a statue to slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and dumped in Bristol’s harbour during a Black Lives Matter protest.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed it was investigating after receiving a report of criminal damage to the gravestone earlier this week.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees has urged people to stop “tit-for-tat” attacks and said an iconic piece of history had been “smashed in two”.

Local councillor Mark Weston said: “Sadly late last night the listed grave of ‘Scipio Africanus’ in St Mary’s Churchyard, Henbury was badly damaged.

“This looks like a retaliation attack for the recent events involving the Colston statue.

“I am deeply saddened by what is happening.

“We have seen war memorials defaced and statues vandalised and I have to wonder where this will end.” Scipio has two gravestones so his story can be told over both of them.


The grave’s desecration comes as Oxford University confirmed it would remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes following an outcry over his links to Britain’s colonial past.

Historians believe Scipio Africanus may have been born into the household of 7th Earl of Suffolk, Charles Howard, and was the son of an enslaved West African woman.

A message left in chalk on the flagstones near the grave said: “Now look at what you made me do.

“Put Colston’s statue back or things will really heat up.”

Cops are also investigating another attack on a Bristol statue of Jamaican poet Alfred Fagon which was covered in bleach last week.

Colston’s statue has since been pulled from the water and is expected to be given a new home in a city museum.

The UK has seen a string of protests this month calling for statues and monuments celebrating controversial figures to be taken down.

Figures to be removed include slave trader Robert Milligan who was taken down from outside the Museum of London Docklands last week.

Other statues including Winston Churchill in Parliament Square in the capital and Robert Baden-Powell have been boxed up to prevent protests from causing damage.

London News Pictures

Two headstones on the Grade II-listed, brightly painted memorial to Scipio Africanus have been smashed[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

A message from racists protesters was also scrawled in chalk on flagstones nearby[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The vandalism comes after Black Lives Matter protesters toppled the statue of slave trader Edward Colston[/caption]

PA:Press Association

The grave of an enslaved African man was vandalised in an apparent ‘retaliation attack’[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

A statue of Sir Winston Churchill in Parliament Square was covered for protection against protesters[/caption]

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