LONDON (AP) — The governing body of Oxford University’s Oriel College has recommended the removal of a statue of Victorian imperialist Cecil Rhodes that has long been the target of protests — though it won’t be taken down immediately.
The college’s governors say they have “voted to launch an independent Commission of Inquiry into the key issues surrounding the Rhodes statue. “
In a statement, the body, made up of faculty, said they had “expressed their wish to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes” and a plaque to him, adding that “this is what they intend to convey to the Independent Commission of Inquiry.”
The statue will stay up until the inquiry finishes its work later this year.
In the late 19th century Rhodes made a fortune from gold and diamond mines where miners labored in brutal conditions. He was an education benefactor whose legacy includes Oxford University’s Rhodes scholarships for international students. The “Rhodes Must Fall” campaign has been seeking the removal of his statue.