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Tufts to remove murals that do not depict people of color

Tufts University

Tufts University will remove murals that depict no students of color, with officials saying they offer an “incomplete story” of the school.

The move follows backlash in recent years from members of the university community who “have come forward to say that the murals do not reflect the diverse and inclusive culture of the university they know today,” according to Tufts’s online announcement

“It must be noted, however, that as a matter of historical record the murals tell an incomplete story about the origins and growth of Tufts. There is not a single image of a person of color, for example, despite the fact that black students were enrolled at Tufts as early as the late 19th century, according to university archives,” the announcement reads.{mosads}

Tufts’s removal of the murals from Alumnae Hall was first reported by Newsweek.

Alumnae Hall was built in 1955, and the murals were based on students who sat for artists and photographs. Many “likenesses of Tufts figures emerged clearly,” but “the artists made no attempt to paint direct portraits,” according to the university’s statement. 

“We recognize that for many these murals are now, in their own right, part of Tufts’ history. … Today, however, our perspectives on history must encompass diverse experiences that we do not see reflected in the murals,” university President Anthony Monaco said in a statement.

The murals will be professionally conserved and protected, he said.

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