A local artist has called on Oriel College to fit a slave collar on the controversial statue of Cecil Rhodes.

Artist and blogger, Chris A Weitz, says he was inspired by sculptor Anthony Gormley’s suggestion that the statue should be turned the face the wall in shame.

Mr Weitz said: “It explicitly points to the history of racism as a rationalisation for slavery.

“Racism and slavery are intimately linked in history and we only have racism because of slavery.”

Mr Weitz created a representational image of the Rhodes statue wearing a slave collar.

The collars were forced to be worn by enslaved people who were known for running away. The heavy iron structures were worn as a punishment and prevented slaves from escaping again. 

Mr Weitz did note he is ambivalent about ‘taking down monuments’ and ‘cleansing history’.

He said: “I think it is better to change the meaning and the context in which they appear.”

He also added the idea to fit the statue with a collar should ‘require a lot less planning permission’ on the part of Oriel College.

Rhodes was a nineteenth century businessman, politician and an ardent believer in British imperialism.

He founded the De Beers diamond company, established the African colony of Rhodesia – now Zambia and Zimbabwe – and was instrumental in paving the way for apartheid.

The Rhodes Must Fall protest movement began in 2015 in South Africa at the University of Cape Town.

Students at University of Oxford also called for the statue's removal, citing Rhodes' history as an imperialist as a physical manifesto of institutional racism.

The Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford campaign aims to ‘decolonise the space, the curriculum, and the institutional memory at, and to fight intersectional oppression within, Oxford’.