NYU students want to rename department named after billionaire art collector

Information about NYU students want to rename department named after billionaire art collector

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New York University students want school officials to rename a building dedicated to a billionaire art collector who was ordered to return looted antiquities this week, according to a report.

In a deal with the Manhattan District Attorney, philanthropist Michael Steinhardt agreed to surrender 180 items worth roughly $70 million.

The deal allowed Steinhardt to avoid any criminal repercussions for possessing the illicit items.

But students at NYU’s Steinhardt School for Culture, Education, and Human Development — which is named for the philanthropist — want to scrub the association, according to the student newspaper.

Anthony Cruz, the president of the department’s undergraduate student government, told Washington Square News that he will press for the removal of Steinhardt’s name.

Michael Steinhardt, legendary hedge fund manager,
Philanthropist Michael Steinhardt was accused of owning 180 antiques stolen from 11 countries including Egypt, Greece, Israel, Syria and Turkey.
REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NYU's Steinhardt School for Culture, Education, and Human Development.
NYU’s Steinhardt School for Culture, Education, and Human Development.
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“We are really emphasizing again how his actions and his behavior really go against the very core of the mission and the values that we should have as a school and as an institution,” Cruz said.

The department was named for Steinhardt after he donated $10 million to the school in 2001.

Michael Steinhardt was no stranger to owning carvings of historical figures.
Michael Steinhardt was no stranger to owning carvings of historical figures.
Manhattan District Attorney
A helmet antique formally owned by Michael Steinhardt.
Billionaire Michael Steinhardt is banned from collecting antiques for life.
Manhattan District Attorney
Billionaire Michael Steinhardt owned a Larnax (left), a Death Mask (center) and a Stag’s Head Rhyton (right).
Billionaire Michael Steinhardt owned a Larnax (left), a Death Mask (center) and a Stag’s Head Rhyton (right).
Manhattan District Attorney
Michael Steinhardt held a prize possession of a Sardinian Idol.
Michael Steinhardt held a prize possession of a Sardinian Idol.
Manhattan District Attorney
Michael Steinhardt had owned a bronze griffin protome.
Michael Steinhardt had owned a bronze griffin protome.
Manhattan District Attorney

Students previously tried to efface his name in 2019 after Steinhardt was hit with sexual misconduct allegations.

But the school declined to take any action after an investigation.

“I think that a lot of other students at NYU are also going to feel similarly about renaming the school,” student Olivia Hughart told the outlet. “We want our school to be represented by people that we all see as leaders.” 

Michael Steinhardt owned gold masks.
Michael Steinhardt owned gold masks.
Manhattan District Attorney
Michael Steinhardt previously owned an ivory plaque.
Michael Steinhardt previously owned an ivory plaque.
Manhattan District Attorney

Cruz said he will be issuing a formal statement on the matter signed by both the undergraduate and graduate Steinhardt student governments in the coming days.

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