Christopher Columbus statue removed from California capitol rotunda

California

A statue of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus in the California State Capitol Rotunda was removed Tuesday morning, according to KCRA in Sacramento.

The “Columbus’ last appeal to Queen Isabella” statue has been at the center of the rotunda since 1883. Amid public outcry, however, Assembly leaders announced it was “completely out of place” and needed to go.

Early Tuesday morning, a crew was seen building a ramp and lining the floor in order to safely remove the statue made of marble and granite. By mid-morning, the statue was loaded onto a low-bed truck and hauled off the Capitol grounds.

Senate President pro tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego; Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood; and Assembly Rules Committee Chair Ken Cooley, D-Rancho Cordova, announced last month the statue would be removed.

“Christopher Columbus is a deeply polarizing historical figure given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations,” lawmakers said in a statement last month. “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.”

Cooley said in June that officials have been talking about removing the statue since January.

Lawmakers worked with experts at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento to get recommendations on how to remove the statue.

Recent marches seeking police reform and an end to racism have resulted in the removal of several statues around the country. A statue of John Sutter, a 19th-century European colonizer who enslaved Native Americans, was taken down outside Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento last month.

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