The statue of Christopher Columbus is being removed from California’s state capitol in Sacramento, state lawmakers announced today.
THE statue, titled ‘Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella,’ has been in the centre of the California Capitol Rotunda since 1883, when it was first gifted to the state.
The announcement comes as public sentiment sours against monuments to historical figures seen as racist or imperialist, with institutions and demonstrators alike taking down statues amid protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
The protest movement has forced leaders to reevaluate European-centric monuments in the United States.
In a joint statement, legislative leadership called the statue “completely out of place.”
“Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarising historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations,” the announcement from Senate President pro Tempore Toni G Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Assembly Rules Committee Chair Ken Cooley reads.
“The continued presence of this statue in California’s Capitol, where it has been since 1883, is completely out of place today,” the statement says.