A decision over the future of a statue of British imperialist Cecil Rhodes has been delayed until the spring.

Calls to remove the Oriel College statue in Oxford were relaunched in June last year after a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston was torn down in Bristol.

A commission was set up to examine the statue's future and said a report would be released this month.

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But the date has been delayed due to a "considerable volume of submissions", according to the BBC.

The statue is above a doorway on the front of the college's Rhodes Building, which faces Oxford's High Street.

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A spokesperson for the commission, set up by Oriel College, said a report would "likely be published in early spring 2021 in order to ensure that all input is given careful and due consideration".

Oxford Mail:

Protesters last year

They added that restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic had also disrupted the group's work.

Campaigners want the statue removed because they say Rhodes, a 19th Century businessman and politician in southern Africa, represented colonialism.

Oxford Mail:

Following protests which saw thousands of people gather in Oxford's High Street to demand its removal last year, the governors of Oriel College voted to take it down, reversing the decision they made in 2016.

The future of a plaque in King Edward Street, off High Street, which is dedicated to Rhodes, remains uncertain.

Oxford Mail:

According to the Guardian, the college has been in discussions with Historic England in recent years about the possibility of the plaque being listed.

While most people are aware of the Rhodes statue some may not be aware of the plaque as it is in a side street.

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