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The Mayor of Bristol said he is "not in a rush to sort a replacement" for the toppled statue of slaver Edward Colston.
The statue was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest on 7 June before being flung into the harbour.
Marvin Rees said the empty plinth is a "powerful statement" and a "space to stop, think and reflect".
The resin figure of Jen Reid with her fist raised, called A Surge of Power, was created by London-based artist Marc Quinn and stood on the plinth for less than 24 hours last week.
After it was removed by the council for not having planning permission, he offered to pay the costs incurred.
Mr Rees revealed the removal cost was £560 for the equipment hire.
He said the authority would not charge the artist for council staff and time.
He also said if Mr Quinn offered the city a maquette of the sculpture it would be taken and displayed alongside the Colston statue and BLM placards from the protest march.
Mr Rees said he is working with a commission of historians and experts, to look at the different aspects of the city's past.
Part of this will involve looking at themes including the working class, women and orphans "rather like the way the programme A House Through Time looked at more than just the homeowners".
It will also include a project to trace Bristolians through their genealogy.
The sculpture was removed at 05:30 BST on Thursday, having been in place for just over 24 hours.
A figure of a Black Lives Matter protester has appeared on the empty plinth previously occupied by the statue of slave trader Edward Colston. A sculpture of protester Jen Reid was erected in Bristol city centre where the Colston statue was pulled down in June. Newsday heard from the artist who created the artwork, Marc Quinn. (Pic: A view of the statue "A Surge of Power (Jen Reid)" by British artist Marc Quinn, Credit: EPA)