Cecil Rhodes statue at Oxford college should go, says independent report

A independent commission set up to examine the future of Oxford University’s controversial statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes has recommended its removal.

The commission was set up last June after Oxford University’s Oriel College voted in favour of removing its statue. The commission was asked to look into the issue after a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down in Bristol at the height of last summer’s Black Lives Matter protest.

ザ・ decision had been delayed owing to a “considerable volume of submissions” that the commission received and the coronavirus pandemic.

In the report, ガーディアンが見た, the commission recommended that the statue be taken down and that the King Edward Street plaque be removed. A majority of commission members supported the expressed wish of the governing body to remove the statue.

The commission also urged Oriel College’s governing body to publish a definitive statement of its view concerning its association with Rhodes and that the college revise materials to ensure they are consistent with the statement.

The commission noted that it was unanimous in its support for all the recommendations in its report, which also calls on the college to fund two new fellowships in fields related to its Rhodes legacy; to provide for scholarships for students from southern Africa and graduate students undertaking relevant research; and to introduce an annual lecture and other outreach initiatives concerned with issues related to Rhodes’ legacy, race and colonialism.

The commission’s report is advisory and the decisions on the recommendations it made are the responsibility of the college’s governing body.

The commission said the governing body should take further proactive measures to encourage applications from black and minority ethnic (BAME) applicants, and to improve the offer and acceptance rates for BAME students.

The commission’s recommendation follows the removal of nearly 70 tributes to slave traders, colonialists and racists since last summer’s anti-racist protests, according to Guardian analysis. In what was described by historians as an “unprecedented” public reckoning with Britain’s slavery and colonial past, 推定 39 names – including streets, buildings and schools – and 30 statues, plaques and other memorials have been or are undergoing changes or removal since last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.

Oriel College and Oxford University have been contacted for comment.