Greta Thunberg statue causes controversy at University of Winchester
BY OLIVER MCLENNAN ON 30TH MARCH 2021
Winchester residents and students of the University of Winchester alike have voiced their opinions regarding the Greta Thunberg statue installed at the University of Winchester.
The statue, which was unveiled on 30th March 2021, has sparked global debate about the necessity of statue as well the distribution of funds in academic capacities. Another point of controversy has been the modeing of the statue after climate activist Greta Thunberg, as residents debate whether it is appropriate for the statue to be modelled after her or instead whether it should have been made to resemble a figure more closely associated with the city.
With debate rising as people accuse the commission of being a “waste of money” and that funds should have been directed elsewhere, the university has defended the statue, issuing a statement saying that “The statue is a symbol of our commitment to combat the climate and ecological emergency” and “No money was diverted from student support or from staffing”.
Meghan Ball, the president of the student union for the University of Winchester, has also said that the main issue with the installation of the statue is to do with the “timing” of its unveiling, as people are worried about the effects brought on by the pandemic.
The artist, Christine Charlesworth, has gone on record to tell WINOL about the importance of art both within the confines of the university as well as in society as a whole. She also urges people to focus not just on who the statue is of, but the greater meaning the statue has and the message it sends to people.