Thu | Dec 14, 2017

UWI Garvey secrecy - University mum on cost associated with Garvey bust

Published:Saturday | July 1, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
The bust of Marcus Garvey at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus.

The University of the West Indies (UWI) has refused to say how much it will cost the institution to replace the condemned bust of National Hero Marcus Garvey erected at the Faculty of Humanities at the Mona campus. However, it has revealed that Raymond Watson, the sculptor of the controversial statue has been contracted to do the replacement.

Pressed by The Gleaner about costs associated with the new bust, dean of the faculty, Professor Waibinte Wariboko said it should be "left alone with the university".

"With due respect, I will skip the money question ...," Wariboko declared.

This, despite university being funded by the Government of Jamaica and other countries in the Caribbean from taxpayers' dollars.

But at the same time, the dean admitted that the university "is not awash with cash", a recognition which led it to shelve an original decision to erect a full statue of Garvey. On the heels of that statement being made by the dean, there was also further admission that the university's own efforts to raise funds to cover the cost of the current bust was "not productive".

 

New bust by end of August

 

In the meantime, Wariboko disclosed that before the end of August, a new bust of Garvey will be erected with features and a posture which reflect a strong and confident hero.

"We [will] bring this (the bust) down and we are putting something back rapidly," he charged, adding that on July 21, a team from the university will be inspecting a model of the new bust.

Following public backlash, the university announced that it will be replacing the current bust sculpted by Raymond Watson.

The university could not provide any specifics about the dimensions of new bust, but said that Watson was again being contracted to redo the sculpture.

The university disclosed that the controversial bust of Garvey will be placed in the UWI museum to accompany compiled work surrounding it.

It was argued that the bust did not have the prominent African features associated with Garvey and persons could not identify with the younger-looking hero.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com