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U of Cambridge Moves Controversial Cockerel Bronze

March 9, 2016
 
 

Jesus College of the University of Cambridge has removed from public display a bronze of a cockerel -- long a symbol of the college -- that was looted from Benin City in Nigeria by British authorities in the late 19th century. Student leaders have said that displaying the object (at right), which is also used on the college's crest, suggests support for British imperialism. Some have pushed for the bronze to be returned to Nigeria, but the university has not committed to that.

Cambridge released this statement: "Jesus College acknowledges the contribution made by students in raising the important but complex question of the rightful location of its Benin Bronze, in response to which it has permanently removed the Okukor [the name for the statue where it was created] from its hall. The college commits to work actively with the wider university and to commit resources to new initiatives with Nigerian heritage and museum authorities to discuss and determine the best future for the Okukor, including the question of repatriation. The college strongly endorses the inclusion of students from all relevant communities in such discussion."

 
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