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Cambridge's Jesus College removes statue of cockerel after student campaign

Published 09/03/2016

Jesus College said it welcomed input from all students in the discussion
Jesus College said it welcomed input from all students in the discussion

A Cambridge college has removed an African bronze cockerel from display after a campaign by students.

Jesus College said the Benin bronze Okukor had been taken down from its hall and it would hold discussions about its future "including the question of repatriation".

The college's Student Union passed a motion in February calling for the artwork, which it said was stolen by British forces in a "punitive raid" in 1897, to be returned to Nigeria.

It comes after the Rhodes Must Fall campaign at Oxford, in which some students demanded that Oriel College take down a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes.

A Jesus College spokeswoman said: "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 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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