After returning an African colonial statue from Nigeria, the Jesus College at Cambridge University accepted money from Beijing’s tech giant.

  • Jesus College gave Nigeria the ‘Benin Bronze’ it had stolen more than 100 year ago to its victims
  • It was accused of “wokewashing” the statue to return it. 
  • It also accepted £155,000 from Chinese tech company Huawei in 2018 

The Cambridge University College, which is at the center of the row over funding for the Chinese Communist Party, has been accused by waking-washing and returning a colonial sculpture to Nigeria.

Concerns have been raised about the links with Beijing after Jesus College accepted a £200,000 grant in 2018 from an agency linked to the ruling communist party for its Global Issues Dialogue Centre.

It also accepted £155,000 from Chinese technology company Huawei, sparking fears that Beijing was exerting undue influence.

Archivist Robert Athol (pictured) with a bronze statue of a cockerel called The Okukor, one of the Benin Bronzes, at Jesus College, University of Cambridge

Robert Athol, Archivist, with The Okukor bronze statue of a cockerel at Jesus College University of Cambridge

The college gave back to Nigeria last month an ancient ‘Benin’ bronze that the British had stolen more than 120 years earlier in an apparent attempt to right wrongs. A senior Government source claimed that officials tried to divert attention from their dealings with Chinese.

Source said that the Chinese are now looking into their links to China and are making big noises about the return of the bronze. It is wakewashing.

Yesterday night, the spokesperson from Jesus College said that the college returned the bronze to Nigerians as it was right.

“The college declared its intention to return the bronze three months prior to the unfounded attack against our China-related academic work, February 2020.

Master of Jesus College Sonita Alleyne (left) with Director General of Nigeria's National Commission for Museums and Monuments Professor Abba Isa Tijani

Sonita Alleyne, Master of Jesus College (left), with Professor AbbaIsa Tijani, Director General Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments