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Oxford University's Rhodes statue 'will remain in place'

The 'Rhodes Must Fall' movement in the UK has been pushing for the statue’s removal.

Statue of Cecil Rhodes on the front of Oriel College’s Rhodes Building, facing Oxford's High Street. Picture: oxfordhistory.org.uk.

CAPE TOWN - Oxford University's statue of Cecil John Rhodes will remain in place, Oriel College's governing body has decided.

The college says the overwhelming message it received has been in support of the statue staying put for a variety of reasons.

The 'Rhodes Must Fall' movement in the UK has been pushing for the statue's removal.

The campaign secured a symbolic victory last week when the Oxford Union, a prestigious debating society, voted the statue must go.

In a statement, Oriel College says there has been intense debate over the past few months about how Rhodes is commemorated at Oxford .

The college says it has received an enormous amount of input, including comments from students, academics, alumni, heritage bodies, as well as over 500 direct written responses.

After considering all of the responses, the college's governing body has decided that the statue should remain in place, and the institution will seek to provide a clear historical context to explain why it is there.

By adding context, the college says it can help draw attention to this history and do justice to the complexity of the debate.

Last year the University of Cape Town removed a statue of Rhodes from the institution's upper campus in response to student pressure.

FIGHT IS NOT OVER

The 'Rhodes Must Fall' movement at Oxford University has described the decision as "outrageous and dishonest".

Student activists will be meeting soon to decide on the way forward.

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