Aung San Suu Kyi portrait removed from Oxford college

BBC | Published: September 30, 2017 13:47:38 | Updated: October 24, 2017 18:13:35

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi gives a speech on Human Rights Day at Inya Lake hotel in Yangon December 10, 2012. Reuters

A portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi has been removed by Oxford University, where she was previously awarded an honorary degree, amid criticism of her handling of the Rohingya crisis.

Violence in Myanmar has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims flee to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Myanmar's de facto leader has been criticised for failing to address UN allegations of ethnic cleansing.

St Hugh's College said her portrait had been replaced with a Japanese painting.

It swapped the painting earlier for one by Japanese artist Yoshihiro Takada. The reasons for the portrait's removal are not clear.

Communications manager Benjamin Jones said the portrait had been moved to a "secure location" while Takada's piece was to be displayed "for a period".

The new painting was presented to the college earlier this month and is currently displayed in the entrance of the college's main building.

Portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi, removed from St Hugh's College, Oxford

Suu Kyi, a former political prisoner who has been Myanmar's de facto civilian leader since winning elections in 2015, is coming under growing international pressure to act.

In a speech last week, the Nobel Prize winner condemned human rights abuses but did not blame the army or address allegations of ethnic cleansing.

She graduated from St Hugh's College in 1967 and was awarded an honorary degree in June 2012, which the university said it was not considering removing.

Founded in 1886, St Hugh's is one of the largest colleges at the university with about 800 students. It has been contacted for a comment.

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