Cecil Rhodes remains at Oxford University for now, despite the updated campaign

The University of Oxford’s governing body will not demolish the controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes at this stage because of the “regulatory and financial challenges” posed by its removal.

Oriel College’s decision came after a lengthy campaign in the Black Lives Matter movement calling for the removal of the British imperialist monument received new attention.

An independent investigation into Rhodes’ heritage was established in June last year after Oriel College’s governing body “expressed their wish” to remove statues from outside the university.

The majority of the members of the committee upheld the university’s original desire to remove the Colossus of Rhodes.

Epoch Times Photo
Protesters in Oxford city center protesting to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes, a 19th-century imperialist and politician, from Oriel College in Oxford, England. Photo published on May 20, 2021. (JoeGiddens / PA)

However, a statement from Oriel College on Thursday said, “Given the considerable obstacles to removal, Oriel’s governing body has decided not to initiate legal proceedings for the relocation of the monument.”

He added: “The Commission acknowledged the complex challenges and costs of removing the statue in terms of heritage and building permits, but the university’s original wish to remove the statue (conducted in June 2020, yesterday). (Reconfirmed by the university) was supported.

“The governing body has carefully considered regulatory and financial challenges, including the total cost of removal, as well as the expected time frame for removal that could last for years without certainty.”

The college said it would instead focus its time and resources on “improving educational equality, diversity, and inclusion between the student cohort and the academic community.”

Sir Mendoza, President of Oriel College, said:

“I understand that this subtle conclusion disappoints some, but now I’m focusing on providing practical action aimed at improving the outreach and everyday experience of BME students. I’m guessing.

“We look forward to working with the Oxford City Council on various options for contextualization.”

Eleanor Basby

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