A bronze statue dedicated to the activist Greta Thunberg, installed inside the English University of Winchester, provoked the anger of the students who branded it as “a waste of money”. The protests broke out after the expenditure for the work, amounting to about 33 thousand dollars, was announced, immediately defined as an “expression of vanity” by the university.
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The university, in the south of England not far from Southampton, defended its choice by stating that Greta Thunberg is an “inspirational” figure and “a symbol of the University’s constant commitment” to issues such as “sustainability and social justice”. The statue is believed to be the first life-size model of the Swedish activist, who made headlines for his attempts to raise public awareness of the effects of climate change.
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Student representatives have specified that they admire Greta and his battles but of not being able to accept the initiative of the university, now invited “to commit the same amount to finance additional services and support” for life “inside the campus”.
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According to the students, in fact, the last year characterized by the coronavirus pandemic has brought “redundancies in staff, cuts to libraries and other limitations” and, despite all this, “full university fees have been charged to students”.
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The sculpture was commissioned in 2019 and its installation was to coincide with the inauguration of a new building on campus “with funds that could only be spent on that complex” and specifying that “no other funding was suspended to make facing the expense “.