Banksy creates T-shirt to help statue-toppling defendants

A person inside Rough Trade in Bristol, England, Saturday Dec. 11, 2021, holds up a T-shirt designed by street artist Banksy, being sold to support four people facing trial accused of criminal damage in relation to the toppling of a statue of slave t

Hundreds of people lined up Saturday in the English city of Bristol to get the latest work by elusive street artist Banksy — a T-shirt created to help four defendants charged over the toppling of a local statue of a slave trader.

The gray shirt features the word Bristol above the empty plinth on which the statue of 17th-century slave merchant Edward Colston long stood, with a rope hanging from it and debris scattered around.

Anti-racism demonstrators pulled down the statue and and dumped it in Bristol harbor in June 2020 amid global protests sparked by the police killing of a Black American man, George Floyd.

Four people have been charged with criminal damage over the statue’s felling and are going on trial next week.

“I’ve made some souvenir shirts to mark the occasion,” Banksy said on social media Friday. “Available from various outlets in the city from tomorrow. All proceeds to the defendants so they can go for a pint.”

Banksy said the T-shirts cost 25 pounds ($33) and are limited to one per customer.