The toppled Edward Colston statue could now be worth as much as £300,000 – 50 times higher than its value before it was pulled down.
Rhian Graham, who along with three co-defendants was found not guilty of causing criminal damage at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday, said a valuation was obtained by their defence team.
“[The art valuer] valued the statue, pre toppling, at around £6,000,” she said. “Post toppling, at auction, is around £150,000 if not up to £300,000, which is a huge increase.”
She added: “In that sense, have we really damaged it?”
The 30-year-old told Sky News she would like to see the artwork – which has been on display at a Bristol museum since last summer – sold.
“I think we should put this theory to the test,” she said. “Sell it to a private collector and use that money to invest in some sort of memorial.”
“Bristol is really lacking in any kind of memorial or acknowledgment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, so that’s what I’d really like to see happen,” she added.
Reflecting on the impact of the toppling and subsequent trial, Ms Graham said she was “humbled” by the outcome.
“If we look at the history of progress, I wouldn’t have the right to vote today if women hadn’t gone round smashing windows,” she said. “In the history of protest and progress, direct action works.”
She continued: “We wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on if it wasn’t for all the campaigners, all the protesters, all the people that have given us this legacy of descent around that statue.
“It wouldn’t have made much sense to just pull it down.”