New York University students want school officials to rename a building dedicated to a billionaire art collector who was ordered to return looted antiques this week, according to a report.
In a deal with Manhattan District Attorney, philanthropist Michael Steinhardt agreed to donate 180 items worth around $ 70 million.
The agreement enabled Steinhardt to avoid any criminal repercussions for possession of the illicit objects.
But students at NYU’s Steinhardt School for Culture, Education and Human Development – which is named after the philanthropist – want to clean up the association, according to the student newspaper.
Anthony Cruz, chairman of the department’s undergraduate government, told Washington Square News he would push for Steinhardt’s name to be removed.
“We emphasize once again how his actions and behavior really go against the very core of the mission and the values that we should have as a school and as an institution,” said Cruz.
The department was named in Steinhardt’s honor after donating $ 10 million to the school in 2001.
Students had previously tried to clear his name in 2019 after Steinhardt was accused of sexual misconduct.
But the school refused to take action after an investigation.
“I think a lot of other NYU students are going to feel the same way about renaming the school as well,” college student Olivia Hughart told the outlet. “We want our school to be represented by people we all see as leaders. ”
Cruz said he will issue an official statement on the issue signed by Steinhardt’s undergraduate and graduate student governments in the coming days.