• Home
  • News
  • News
  • Calls to repatriate bronze cockerel at Cambridge

emily-hulme
2nd March 2016

Calls to repatriate bronze cockerel at Cambridge

Students at Cambridge University hold debate to discuss future repatriation of Bronze cockerel statue stolen from Nigeria in colonial times
Calls to repatriate bronze cockerel at Cambridge

Following the Cecil Rhodes controversy at Oxford University, Jesus College Cambridge has witnessed a similar debate in its own Students’ Union. The Benin Bronze Appreciation Committee (BBAC) put forward the motion to return the statue to Nigeria in a repatriation ceremony, in an effort to “weed out the colonial legacies that exist” in the University. The 11-page document that proposed the motion emphasises that the gesture to return the cockerel would be the “just” thing to do.

The sculpture, named “Okukor”, along with several other Benin Bronze items, was looted by the British during the ‘Punitive Expedition’ in 1897. The expedition is remembered as a brutal act of imperialism, in which the British killed thousands of citizens and destroyed the city of Benin, leading to an annexation of the Kingdom. Nigeria has made several requests for Benin artwork to be returned to its rightful home, as the art is essential to Nigerian history and culture. Students state the returning of the okukor would provide mutual benefit both for the university and Nigerian culture.

The Benin bronze cockerel has been situated in Jesus College since the 1930s. The cockerel is the mascot for the College, named after its founder, John Alcock, the Bishop of Ely. Students suggested Okukor could be replaced with something of the college’s choice.

The BBAC presented their debate successfully, meaning that the College’s council will discuss their proposals on the 7th of March. It was a unanimous decision in the Students’ Union, however there has been discussion elsewhere to allow the cockerel to tour different places of the world.  Jonathan Jones from The Guardian argues that this way it can be seen by many people, whilst being reminded it is a piece of Nigerian culture.

Jason Okundaye, a Pembroke College student involved in the discussion, brought forward the point that black students should have more say in the cockerel’s repatriation.


More Coverage

Andy Burnham announces new bus fares to combat cost of living crisis

Andy Burnham announces new bus fares to combat cost of living crisis

Bunrham announces that from September 2022 the bus fares will be capped at £2 for adults and £5 for day passes across all operators in Greater Manchester.
Manchester set for travel nightmare this weekend due to busy music weekend

Manchester set for travel nightmare this weekend due to busy music weekend

‘Plan ahead now’ is the warning from Manchester Council for those going
UoM to give students more choice over remote study in provisional flexible learning plan

UoM to give students more choice over remote study in provisional flexible learning plan

UoM has proposed a new flexible learning plan which includes part-time and digital study
Teenager murders 19 children in Texas School Shooting

Teenager murders 19 children in Texas School Shooting

On Robb Elemetary’s last day before summer break, a teenage gunman entered the school, murdering 14 children and one teacher.

Popular Articles

Copyright © The Mancunion
Powered By Spotlight Studios

0161 275 2930  University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap