Southampton university student president vows to take down ‘white men’ mural honouring WW1 soldiers

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The president of the student union at Southampton university has called for a mural honouring those who died in WW1 to be painted over. 

Emily Dawes' call for the painting in the university's senate room to be covered come just a few weeks before the centenary of the end of the First World War. 

Rothenstein Mural. Picture: Southampton University

Rothenstein Mural. Picture: Southampton University

The Rothenstein Mural was painted by Sir William Rothenstein in 1916 honours members of the British universities who served in the Great War.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, She wrote: ‘Mark my words- we're taking down the mural of white men in the uni Senate room, even if I have to paint over it myself.' 

READ MORE: Fears Remembrance Day could ‘glorify war’ sees Cambridge University students vote down motion to promote the event

In a statement released today she apologised for causing ‘upset'. 

She said: ‘Firstly, and most importantly, I would like to apologise for the offence and upset I have caused with what I have said.

‘I never meant to disrespect to anyone past, present and future.

‘I had no intention of the tweet being taken literally, and upon reflection have realised how inappropriate it was. 

‘My intention was to promote strong, female leadership and not the eradication and disrespect of history. I do not believe that to make progress in the future, we should look to erase the past. 

‘Once again, I would like to apologise for the offence and upset I have caused.’ 

The calls to take down the mural have sparked outrage online. 

READ MORE: Knitted poppies will decorate Portsmouth’s Guildhall for Remembrance Day thanks to ​​​​​​​team of purlers

One Twitter user with the handle ‘Sasha’ tweeted: ‘I would hope Southampton University would step in and defend that mural and everything it stands for.

‘Otherwise it should shut its doors and stop pretending to be education young minds.

‘Because if this is the result of their education, then they're doing something wrong.' 

It follows Cambridge University students union striking down a motion calling for Remembrance Sunday to be promoted over fears it would ‘glorify war’.