Notre Dame is covering up its ‘problematic’ Columbus murals

Jan 22, 2019 752

BY: Julia Marsh

Notre Dame will shroud its 134-year-old murals of explorer Christopher Columbus after some students complained that the images were “demeaning” to Native Americans, the university’s president announced in a letter. “The murals’ depiction of Columbus as beneficent explorer and friend of the native peoples hides from view the darker side of this story, a side we must acknowledge,” university president John I. Jenkins wrote in the Jan. 20 missive.

The 12 renderings cannot be taken down without destroying them because Italian artist Luigi Gregori painted the works directly on the plaster of the Main Building’s second floor between 1882 and 1884. So the murals will be “covered by woven material consistent with the décor of the space,” Jenkins wrote. “It will be possible to display the murals on occasion,” he added.

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