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The controversial bust (left) and a photo of Marcus Garvey.

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday June 26, 2017 – A controversial bust of Marcus Garvey, unveiled at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica last month, is to be replaced. The decision follows protests and public outcry about the bust bearing to resemblance to Jamaica’s first national hero.

Calls for the bust to be removed came immediately after it was unveiled on May 19 in the courtyard of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the Mona campus, by Professor Archibald McDonald, pro-vice-chancellor and principal of the Mona campus, and Professor Rahamon Adisa Bello, vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos in Nigeria.

At the unveiling, some exclaimed that sculptor Raymond Watson’s representation of Garvey was far from accurate. An online petition was also started and, yesterday, members of the Rastafarian community also held a protest.

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the UWI Mona campus, Professor Waibinte Wariboko, has confirmed that work is ongoing to erect a new bust of Garvey before the start of  the next academic year.

“Having listened to the comments from members of the public since the unveiling, we are now taking steps to ensure that the one that was unveiled is removed and replaced with another bust put in place to reflect all or nearly all of the attributes that these public commentators would love to associate with the image of Marcus Garvey as represented by the bust to be made,” he told RJR News in Jamaica.

Garvey, a proponent of the Black Nationalism and Pan-Africanism movements, founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Jamaica in 1914 and then moved two years later to New York where the organization thrived. He spoke across the US and urged African-Americans to be proud of their race and return to Africa, their ancestral homeland.

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