The George Floyd statue was unveiled in Newark, New Jersey, on Wednesday (Picture: City of Newark)
A solid bronze statue of George Floyd has been unveiled in the US state of New Jersey.
The huge tribute to Floyd, 48, in Newark, was revealed to the public for the first time on Wednesday. He was murdered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 25 last year by cop Derek Chauvin, and his death prompted Black Lives Matter protests around the world.
Floyd’s death led to police reform legislation being by the US government as well as calls for increased equality for ethnic minorities in America.
The statue of him weighs almost 700lbs and is expected to remain Newark’s City Hall for at least a year.
George Floyd died after Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes
Floyd’s death prompted demonstrations and protests across the US (Picture: AFP via Getty)
The city’s mayor, Ras Baraka, said he hoped it would inspire residents in the fight for racial justice, after a wave of anti-racism demonstrations followed Floyd’s tragic death.
‘George Floyd represents a lot more than himself at this juncture in history’, said Mr Baraka.
He added: ‘Hopefully when people walk by it and they see it…hopefully it inspires them to become active in the struggles that are happening right here in Newark and right here in New Jersey.’
The statue was commissioned by Leon Pickney and was designed by artist Stanley Watts.
Mr Pickney said it should serve as a reminder of the ongoing calls for racial justice across the US.
The statue of Floyd will remain in Newark, NJ, for around a year (Picture: City of Newark)
‘The statue was to cause them to remember why they marched during such a horrific pandemic and I didn’t want them to go back to a status quo’, he said of last year’s demonstrations.
Mr Watts added: ‘The world needed a peaceful George’, said Mr Watts, who sculpted the bronze statue showing Mr Floyd sitting on a park bench.
‘The world needed him relaxed and chilling on a bench and that’s what we produced and we produced him larger than life, because after death, George will be remembered.’
The ceremony was held to coincide with Juneteenth, which was officially recognized as a federal holiday yesterday and marks the end of slavery in the US.
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