Greta Thunberg statue provokes anger at its unveiling

Swedish local weather activist Greta Thunberg protests along with her placard studying “Faculty strike for local weather” as a part of her Fridays for Future protest in entrance of the Swedish Parliament Riksdagen in Stockholm on October 9, 2020.


LONDON — A statue of the local weather activist Greta Thunberg that has been put in at a British college has provoked anger from college students who labeled it a waste of cash.

College students on the College of Winchester, within the south of England, expressed their dismay at the price of the statue, which was virtually £24,000 ($33,000) saying it was a “self-importance mission.”

The college defended the bronze statue, which it believes is the primary life-size mannequin of the Swedish environmental campaigner, saying Thunberg is an “inspirational” determine and “a logo of the College’s ongoing dedication to sustainability and social justice.”

However the college’s college students’ union mentioned forward of the revealing of the statue on Tuesday that whereas it admired “Greta for her drive and willpower … we can not condone the statue unveiling.”  

It mentioned the college “should not ignore their present college students in specializing in new pupil recruitment, the sustainability agenda, and publicity” and requested it to match the statue value by committing £23,760 in extra funding to pupil assist companies throughout campus.

Final week, the scholars’ union had issued a press release wherein it argued that Thunberg was “a improbable function mannequin to everybody, as somebody who speaks loudly and proudly about vital international points and defies odds that others put upon her.”

Nevertheless, it mentioned that the final yr dominated by the coronavirus disaster had prompted workers redundancies, library cuts and the limitation of provisions.

“(College students) are being charged full tuition charges for an instructional yr that’s something however regular. There’s a crippling psychological well being disaster amongst college students, and wellbeing companies are crying out for added assist. In our view, the revealing of this statue subsequent week reveals that these points will not be their priorities.”

The Winchester College and Faculty Union described the sculpture as a “self-importance mission” on social media final week.

The College of Winchester mentioned the sculpture had been commissioned in 2019 and was timed to be put in when it opened a brand new constructing, the West Downs Centre, on its campus.

“We’re conscious of some issues raised concerning the financing of the statue. The statue was commissioned in 2019 as a part of the West Downs mission from funds which may solely be spent on that constructing. No cash was diverted from pupil assist or from staffing to finance the West Downs mission,” it mentioned in a press release Tuesday.

The college mentioned it had spent £5.2 million this yr on pupil assist, had processed hardship funding and established a brand new IT entry fund for college students to assist studying in the course of the pandemic.

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