26 Mar 2021: British university draws criticism over life-sized Greta Thunberg statue
A British university has invited criticism for its plans to erect a life-sized statue for teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on its Hampshire campus.
Winchester University plans to unveil the statue, called 'Make a Difference,' on March 30. According to a report, the statue is being built at a cost of $32,000.
Here are more details.
Statue: Statue reportedly costs over Rs. 23 lakh
The statue is called 'Make a Difference' and is being completed by British artist Christine Charlesworth.
The piece had been commissioned by the Winchester University back in 2019 at a cost of more than £23,760 or $32,754, according to a report in the Hampshire Chronicle. The cost translates to over Rs. 23 lakh in the Indian currency.
Quote: University wanted Thunberg sculpture because it's very 'green': Artist
Charlesworth told the Chronicle, "The university wanted a sculpture of Greta because it is a very 'green' university, and they feel that Greta will be an inspiration to all the students."
"Originally, the interview committee were talking about her sitting on the ground, wearing her yellow coat," she said. "But I feel strongly about portraying her telling more about the person she is."
Criticism: 'What a total waste of money'
Local resident Simon Dixon told the publication, "What a total waste of money...I wonder whose bright idea that was."
University student Henry Osbourne wondered why students "weren't given a vote over who to have a statue of?"
"I think the statue sculpture itself is very good," Michelle Coombs said. "But Greta has no connection with Winchester, or am I wrong?"
Thunberg: Who is Greta Thunberg?
Thunberg is recognized for sparking a global student-led strike, which gained mileage over two years since she herself started protesting outside the Swedish Parliament with the sign "skolstrejk för klimatet" (School Strike for the Climate).
In March, she was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (she did not win).
She was also named the 2019 TIME 'Person of the Year'.