Rhodes Statue Will Come Down, says Oxford CollegeJune 18, 20
(IDEX Online) - The statue of De Beers founder Cecil Rhodes should be removed, says the Oxford college he attended.
The governing body of Oriel College yesterday voted to launch an independent Commission of Inquiry, bowing to five years of pressure from students, which escalated in recent weeks in response the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, USA.
The decision was reached "after a thoughtful period of debate and reflection" and in "full awareness of the impact these decisions are likely to have in Britain and around the world".
There will need to be consultations over planning regulations before the bronze statue is actually removed.
Rhodes, born in England in 1853, was sent to South Africa as a teenager and established De Beers empire in 1888, gaining near-complete domination of the world diamond market.
He gave his name to the territory that was once Rhodesia and endowed the Rhodes scholarships that have been paying for 8,000 students (including Bill Clinton) to attend Oxford University.
Detractors accuse him of being a racist, a white supremacist and the father of apartheid.
The Rhodes Must Fall campaign campaign successfully fought for the removal of a Rhodes statue at University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2015.
TV grab shows crowds in Oxford demanding the removal of the statue