A statue of 15th-century explorer Christopher Columbus and Queen Isabella will be removed from California’s Capitol Rotunda at the direction of top lawmakers, The Sacramento Bee first reported.
The marble statue, which has been in the Capitol for over 100 years, will be taken down after a monument of settler John Sutter was removed near the Sacramento hospital named after him.
A statement that was signed by Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D), Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D), and Assembly Rules Committee Chairman Ken Cooley (D) read:
Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarizing historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations. The continued presence of this statue in California’s Capitol, where it has been since 1883, is completely out of place today,” It is unclear when the statue will be removed from the state building.
The decision comes as left-wing activist groups, including Black Lives Matter, and Democrat lawmakers have called for historical statues to be taken down in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.
On Tuesday, a statue of Christopher Columbus was removed from a St. Louis, Missouri, park — Tower Grove Park — after commissioners who manage it voted in favor of the move.
The day prior, after a bust of Christopher Columbus was taken down in Detroit, Michigan, and placed in storage. On Friday, officials in Wilmington, Delaware — the town in which former Vice President Joe Biden resides — removed statues of both Columbus and Caesar Rodney.