PICS | Beheaded Cecil John Rhodes bust cleaned as City of Cape Town mulls options on damaged statues

Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial.
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial.
Shavan Rahim

The bust of Cecil John Rhodes at Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town was cleaned on Thursday after the head of the bust was chopped off by unknown people earlier this week.

The controversial statue made news again this week after SANParks confirmed that the head on the stone sculpture had been cut off sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning.

On Thursday, officials could be seen cleaning the area, while visitors milled around the viewing spot.

Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial.
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial
Cecil John Rhodes statue at Rhodes Memorial. (Shavan Rahim, News24)

While there were no formal plans in place or tabled, Mayco Member for Spatial Planning and Environment Marian Nieuwoudt told News24 that the City of Cape Town was concerned and investigating options to secure monuments.

One of those was the idea of a single site or memorial park, the Cape Argus reported. Nieuwoudt, however, said that was just one of a number of ideas, as the City looked for alternative mechanisms, and that nothing formal had been developed.

She said members of the public were welcome to contact her office if they thought they had a good idea.

It is not the first time the statue of the controversial figure was damaged, News24 reported.

In 2015, the bust's nose was cut off. There was also a call for the full statue to be removed by protesting UCT students calling for the decolonisation of higher education and its environments.

In 2018, the nose was restored by a local artist and historian.

- Compiled by Paul Herman, photographs by Shavan Rahim

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