Wessex Scene can reveal that a petition has been launched on Change.org appealing for Jesters’ cultural significance to be officially recognised by the conferment upon it of UNESCO World Heritage Status.
Tom McLean launched the petition yesterday evening, claiming that if Jesters gained the status, it would be ‘protected under international law’.
The petition is directed at the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), Hampshire Cultural Trust and Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test.
His full statement reads:
Jesters has been a significant cultural site for many years for students in Southampton. I believe it is eligible for world heritage status as it is a historically unique building which signifies a remarkable accomplishment of humanity and serves as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet. If granted, Jesters will be protected under international law, including the Geneva Convention. This is the only long-term solution to protect Jesters.
The campaign follows in the wake of the advertised sale of Jesters and Clowns on Rightmove. The advertisement appeals for offers in the region of £1,600,000 and in the section labelled ‘Development Opportunities’, says there is potential for the establishment of student accommodation above the nightclub.
If Mr McLean’s petition is successful, Jesters would join the ranks of the Great Barrier Reef, Venice, the Galápagos Islands, and Victoria Falls, as a recipient of UNESCO’s World Heritage Status.
At the time of writing, 47 people had already signed the petition.
Update: Former University of Southampton student and Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark has now lent his support to the petition. In an Instagram post to his 156,000 followers, Stark posted a picture of himself from when he used to DJ at the nightclub, with the caption:
If you’ve ever been to Jesters in Southampton please support the petition to make Jesters a “world heritage site.” [sic]To secure its future. Here’s a pic of me from when I used to DJ there to persuade you 😂🙏
The petition had reached 1,198 signatures at 14:40 on Sunday.