Notre Dame to cover up murals of Columbus in New World


SOUTH BEND, IN – AUGUST 30: The mural at the Hesburgh Library, commonly known as “Touchdown Jesus” is seen on the campus of Notre Dame University before a game between the Norte Dame Fighting Irish and the Rice Owls at Notre Dame Stadium on August 30, 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty […]

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The University of Notre Dame says it will cover murals in a campus building that depict Christopher Columbus in the Western Hemisphere.

The school’s president, the Rev. John Jenkins, says the paintings from the 1880s were intended to encourage immigrants, especially during an anti-Catholic period in America. But he says the 12 murals hide a “darker side” of Columbus’ story: the exploitation and repression of Native Americans.

Marcus Winchester-Jones is president of a Native American student group. He praised the decision.
The murals in Notre Dame’s Main Building are painted directly on walls. In a letter Sunday, Jenkins says the murals will be covered, although they still could be occasionally displayed.

Jenkins says a permanent display of photos of the paintings will be created elsewhere with an explanation of their context.

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