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The 'Columbus' Last Appeal to Queen Isabella' statue in the Capitol rotunda. (Photo: Wikipedia)

Christopher Columbus Statue To Be Removed From California State Capitol Rotunda

Sacramento is the latest city to have a statue of Columbus removed this month

By Evan Symon, June 16, 2020 8:33 pm

On Tuesday, Democratic Senate and Assembly leaders in Sacramento announced that the statue of Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella in the State Capitol Rotunda is to be removed.

The statue, “‘Columbus’ Last Appeal to Queen Isabella,” was gifted to California by gold rush banker Darius Ogden Mills in 1883. It sat almost entirely uninterrupted in the Capitol rotunda since then.

However, the George Floyd protests have put pressure on local and state politicians to remove statues and monuments of those who have been accused of suppressing minorities in the past history of the United States.

Many Confederate monuments in the Southern U.S. have been removed since May due to the statues honoring those who had slaves or fought to preserve slavery. Other civic leaders with statues who has suppressed minorities, such as a statue of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, have also been removed either by the city or by protesters. Overseas, statues of known slave traders and supporters of slavery have also been removed.

Historical statue removals have also hit California, with statues of California settler John Sutter being removed on Monday.

History about Columbus has been re-written to say, “Christopher Columbus was an Italian explorer who stumbled upon the Americas and whose journeys marked the beginning of centuries of transatlantic colonization,” as History.com did.

In recent weeks a new movement to remove statues of Christopher Columbus over his history of genocide and enslavement of indigenous people. Many cities and state capitols have removed or are planning to remove such statues.

Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), and Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) named Columbus’ genocidal past as the reason for removal of the Columbus and Queen Isabella statue on Tuesday in a joint statement.

“Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarizing historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations,” said the Lawmakers. “The continued presence of this statue in California’s Capitol, where it has been since 1883, is completely out of place today. It will be removed.”

This has not been the first time the statue has been under fire. In the 1960’s and 70’s, Native American groups attempted to remove the statue from the rotunda, citing Columbus’ past. Groups in the 90’s and 2000’s also tried to remove it. But Tuesday’s announcement has generally sealed the fate of the statue, albeit with many still wanting the statue to remain and no current date of removal.

“It’s not about that,” explained Paul Gattuso, a Los Angeles resident who has fought against Columbus Day changes. “It’s about him taking a huge risk and leading other to come to America. For many Italian-Americans he’s a hero.”

“I’m not denying that  he did those things to native people, but what he did was help bring and encourage downtrodden Europeans to the New World for religious freedom that later helped build up this country.”

While 60% of Americans generally agree with celebrating Columbus Day, recent events and a movement to look deeper into historical figures pasts have pushed the tide against figures such as Columbus in recent months, with the removal of the Columbus statue reflecting changes in attitude.

“We won’t forget that he helped spur people coming to America,” said historian Diana Greene. “But we also can’t celebrate someone who did terrible things like that. That’s where we are now in the U.S. The Columbus statue in Sacramento being removed is following that.”

Evan Symon
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13 thoughts on “Christopher Columbus Statue To Be Removed From California State Capitol Rotunda

  1. WHAT IS GOING TO BE BANNED NEXT? COLUMBUS SALAMI? IF YOU BUY AND EAT COLUMBUS SALAMI I GUESS THAT MAKES YOU A RRRRRACIST! IF YOU FLY AN ITALIAN FLAG ON COLUMBUS DAY YOU ARE A RRRRRACIST!! WATCH OUT FIAT DRIVERS, YOU JUST MIGHT BE A RRRRRACIST!

  2. This insanity needs to stop!! All of these statues and monuments are history and irreplaceable-When did we vote to remove them? All of a sudden…after over a hundred years, these pieces of art and history have to be destroyed? The people defacing and destroying these works of art should be arrested. What are they going to replace them with? Giant phallic monuments? That would be acceptable to the new norm, I’m sure, as they sit in their parent’s basement playing video games and sucking on pacifiers.

    1. A-freaking-men. Is this the kind of generation we want to raise? People who get what they want from screaming and yelling? It’s disgusting to watch. We can respect history and still acknowledge that we would do differently today. That is absolutely no reason to demolish statues. Looks like I’ll be reading 1984 again soon. This is getting worse by the day.

  3. This is so sad to see this be taken down it makes me sick. In your article you mentioned that we couldn’t celebrate Christopher Columbus because he did terrible things. But we are celebrating Mr Floyd who also had done some terrible things. So where’s the logic in your thinking. You can’t change history. If our schools would start teaching history again then our kids would understand and realize we have come along way. They can see we have fought to make thinks better if have Monuments in states where our Civil War was fought learn about it don’t remove them. You can’t change History its a place to look back at and learn from. The problem is not in the statues or monuments the problem is with the heart. I am so against trying to erase our history by removing our monuments .

  4. The victors are the ones that get to write history. The Democrats have overwhelmingly succeeded in California. They will determine what is written in the school books and the official records. The democrats get to decide what monuments to remove and destroy.

  5. BLM is a cult. They eat their young. They want to take down statues, and replace them with monuments of George Floyd, an opioid addicted felon with a violent criminal history. This is who they choose as their martyr. The voices of the good black men and woman are drowned out by a this funded group with it’s savage agenda.

  6. THIS JUST IN!!! CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS REVEALED TO BE GAY!!! Plans to remove statue under review. BLM and LGBTQIA+ at odds on statue. Hilarity ensues!

  7. Apparently black lives don’t matter but black lies do. They selectively look the other way with black on black crime and Planned Parenthood causing the real black genocide. They have kicked Columbus, Washington, Jefferson, Serra, Grant. Lee, and others to the curb but take no responsibility for their own faults. If this happens every time they don’t get what they want there will be nothing left of America.

  8. If it wasn’t for Columbus nobody living in the Americas would be alive today. History would be different and you would never have been born in the alternate timeline. So in a sense Columbus is our father.
    Stupid people just need a reason to complain and find fault in someone other than themselves.

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