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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 21:45 GMT
Protest over concert hall's name
Edward Colston
Edward Colston traded in cloth, wine, sugar and slaves

A group in Bristol has called for the Colston Hall's name to be changed.

Artists For A Name Change said the concert venue should be re-named because of Edward Colston's association with the slave trade.

The group says 2007 is the perfect year for the debate as it is 200 years since the slave trade was abolished and the hall is undergoing a 20m development.

Manager Graeme Howell said it was incredibly important that the topic gets some kind of resolution this year.

"I think it's a very important debate to have and it's a great year to have that debate," he said.

Mr Howell added that it bothers him that some communities feel they aren't able to go to the venue.

Bristol-based group Massive Attack have refused to play the hall in the past because of its association with slavery.

The new look Colston Hall
Work on the hall is expected to be finished in 2008

A spokesperson for Artists For A Name Change says the name does matter as it is a publicly-funded building.

He asked why the city should retain a name from the mid-19th century when Bristol prides itself on having a forward looking cultural arts scene.

Roz Martin from the campaign group said: "You hear a lot of statements of regret, and what Bristol is doing in particular to get black minority citizens more involved with city life.

"This is an example of something they could do - it's not just for black citizens, it's about all of us taking pride in the city."

The new name for the Broadmead shopping centre, Merchant's Quarter, was changed to Cabot Circus after residents found the merchant name offensive because it glorified the city's historic slave trading past.


SEE ALSO
'New name' for merchants' quarter
19 Apr 06 |  Bristol/Somerset
City to mark end of slave trade
02 Feb 06 |  Bristol/Somerset

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