Barcelona Officials Want to Rip Down Columbus Statue

Barcelona council members say it glorifies colonialism, explorer's 'conquest of America'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2016 7:21 AM CDT
Barcelona Officials Want to Rip Down Columbus Statue
Chris Columbus may not be long for Barcelona.   (Getty Images)

Just a couple of years after the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor, a statue of Christopher Columbus was erected to grace Barcelona's skyline—and while the former represents freedom and friendship, local council members say the latter should be torn down for symbolizing the worst of colonialism, reports the Guardian. The officials are formally requesting that the nearly 200-foot bronze figure, which went up in 1888, be dismantled, as well as all the adornments at the base of the column—including effigies of Columbus' sponsors, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, per the Telegraph—that "glorify the conquest of America and its 'museumification' through historical interpretation." Instead, the far-left officials say, a better tribute would be some kind of structure signifying "American resistance to imperialism, oppression, and indigenous and African-American segregation."

That's not all the CUP Capgirem members are looking to eliminate. Also on the hit list: a statue of a slave trader outside Barcelona's post office, the Spanish flags that adorn municipal buildings, and Columbus Day celebrations on Oct. 12. Other Spanish officials have voiced displeasure at the holiday in the past, with the mayor of the port city of Cadiz tweeting last year, "We never discovered America; we massacred and suppressed a continent and its cultures in the name of God." The request has been met with some scorn by other parties, with one local leader sniffing, "Next thing you know, the CUP will ask for a statue of Kim Jong Un pointing at Ithaca." Meanwhile, Barcelona's deputy mayor said Tuesday that taking down the Columbus statue "is not part of the changes we currently have planned." (A stolen Columbus letter was found in a US institution.)

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