The Students’ Association of the prestigious Oxford College Magdalene has voted to remove the portrait of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II. from the common room. It is claimed that the vote took place after discussing the purpose of the space where all students should feel welcome. But for some, it was a portrait of the famous British Queen who was an “unwelcome symbol of the last colonial era”.
“The common room is meant to be a friendly and neutral place for everyone, regardless of their background or opinions,” Matthew Katzman, president of the association, told the British daily. times.
A painted portrait of the Queen from 1952 is already in the warehouse. The students plan to replace it with a painting by one of the “influential and inspiring artists”.
Founded in 1458, Magdalene College is one of the richest and most traditional of the nearly 40 colleges in the University of Oxford. Its alumni include Erwin Schrödinger, Nobel Prize winner for his theory of quantum physics, playwright and novelist Oscar Wilde and author of the fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia CS Lewis.
The school administration, who has long-standing ties to the Queen, said they had no intention of interfering in the matter. It’s a student thing. Elizabeth’s last visit to the famous college was in 2008 on the occasion of its 550th anniversary. In 1948, while visiting the dormitory, he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
The decision sparked sharp criticism, including from Britain’s education minister. “Oxford students take down the Queen’s picture, it’s ridiculous,” said Gavin Williamson. “During her long reign, she tirelessly promoted ideas of tolerance, inclusion, and respect for others.”
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