SOUTH BEND, Ind.–The University of Notre Dame is looking to cover its Christopher Columbus paintings.
The school’s president made the announcement yesterday.
President Reverend John Jenkins said the world had a different view of Columbus back in the 19th century, when the murals were painted. Jenkins says the modern view of Columbus, and what happened to native people after he arrived, has changed.
A letter shared by Jenkins said when the murals were painted, they reflected the ideas of the time.
“In recent years, however, many have come to see the murals as at best blind to the consequences of Columbus’s voyage for the indigenous peoples who inhabited this “new” world and at worst demeaning toward them,” Jenkins said in the letter.
“I have heard from students, alumni, faculty, staff, representatives of the Native American community, and others on this complex topic. I have decided, after consultation with the University’s Board of Fellows, on a course that will preserve the murals, but will not display them regularly in their current location,” Jenkins said.
He said the arrival of Columbus was a difficult thing for Native Americans.
“Whatever else Columbus’s arrival brought, for these peoples it led to exploitation, expropriation of land, repression of vibrant cultures, enslavement, and new diseases causing epidemics that killed millions.,” Jenkins said.
The covers for the murals will be made soon.
You can see Jenkins’ full letter here.
(PHOTO: The University of Notre Dame)
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