Amid a wave of statue toppling across the United States, the Catholic Church removed a Junipero Serra statue from the San Luis Obispo Mission on Monday, a move intended to protect the sculpture. [Tribune]
The Diocese of Monterey, which owns the SLO Mission property, released a statement saying a work crew took down the statue and move it to a storage room to safeguard it and protect it from vandalism. Junipero Serra statues have already been toppled by protesters in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Protesters argue the Spanish missionary’s legacy includes abuses against Native Americans. The Catholic Church argues otherwise, saying Serra pressed Spanish authorities for better treatment of Native Americans.
San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon stated in an Instagram post she is grateful the statue was removed.
“So grateful to see this painful reminder removed from our public space,” Harmon wrote. “Thank you to the church for doing the right thing and proactively taking this down.”