Star Wars robot model taken to tip

THE Montpelier artist who put a Star Wars robot model on the vacant Colston plinth says he’s considering another “pop up” art exhibition.

People on social media criticised Bristol City Council after the model of a Battle Droid was removed just days after creator Simon Francis Thomas put it on show.

Simon stood the four-foot model on the plinth on April 7, posting on Facebook: “If you are in central Bristol today pop by our Star Wars Celebration sculpture being displayed for 3 days on the controversial Colston statue plinth.”

But council street teams apparently removed it just hours later.

Luckily Simon had hidden a tracking device inside, and was able to recover it undamaged from Hartcliffe Way Recycling Centre.

After he retrieved it, he posted a photo of the model  in the passenger seat of a car, complete with seat belt, on the way back to his studio.  He said he had been told by a member of the public that it had been removed from the plinth.

He posted on Facebook: “Thanks for all the love I really enjoyed this project and the feedback … should I do another pop up?”

The droid sculpture, a tribute to a Star Wars celebration weekend being held in London, was holding a plaque which said “Star wars Celebration” and had a QR code linking to Simon’s Instagram profile.

Simon, who describes himself on Instagram as an artist and designer, studied an MA in Design at UWE.

On social media people reacted to the news of the sculpture’s removal with surprise. One posted “What is wrong with the council! BCC should offer an apology.”

Another said: “The Droid statue was excellent and just a bit of fun, kids would love it.”

In December 2020 a model of Darth Vader, who was played by Bristolian Dave Prowse, was placed on the Colston plinth.

The original statue of Edward Colston, which stood on the plinth from 1895, was toppled in 2020. Last year four people were cleared of criminal damage in connection with its removal.Colston’s statue was displayed at M Shed for six months and is now in the museum’s store. Plans are under way for it to go on permanent display in the future following a public vote.