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'Imperialist ' bronze cockerel removed

Bronze cockerel Image copyright Alamy Image caption Jesus College's bronze cockerel - similar to this one - has now been removed from display in its dining hall

Cambridgeshire University has removed a Nigerian bronze cockerel from display after students complained it had been looted in a "punitive" British imperialist raid in the 19th Century.

The Benin bronze, known as an "okukor", was bequeathed to Jesus College in 1930 by a former British Army officer.

Last month students voted for it to be returned to Nigeria.

The college said it had now removed the cockerel and was considering the "question of repatriation".

Almost 1,000 bronzes were taken after Benin City, in present-day Nigeria, was occupied by imperial troops in 1897, according to the British Museum.

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About 900 of those artefacts are housed in museums and collections around the world, including the British Museum.

Image copyright Robert Edwards/Geograph Image caption The Benin bronze statue was prominently displayed in the college dining hall

Jesus College's bronze cockerel, donated by Captain George William Neville, whose son had been a student there, took pride of place in the college dining hall.

However, in February the college student union proposed it should be returned to Nigeria.

The minutes of the meeting stated the bronze was stolen by British forces in a "punitive raid" in 1897 and the "time [was] right to repatriate the cockerel to the Royal Palace of Benin in line with existing protocol".

A Cambridge University spokesman said Jesus College recognised the "contribution made by students in raising the important but complex question of the rightful location of its Benin bronze, in response to which it has permanently removed the okukor from its hall.

"The college commits to work actively with the wider university and to commit resources to new initiatives with Nigerian heritage and museum authorities to discuss and determine the best future for the okukor, including the question of repatriation."

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