Spain minister stands up for Columbus statues
MADRID (SPAIN) – Amid the calls by anti-racism activists to tear down statues of 15th century navigator Christopher Columbus in Spain, the education minister in Spain’s leftist coalition government has stood up for the monuments.
The first European to reach the Americas, Columbus is seen by rights activists as a symbol of racial hatred as his discovery led to the opening of the gates to invasions from Europe resulting in millions of deaths all over the Americas.
“Cities have history and moments which must be respected and learned from,” minister Isabel Celaa told reporters when asked about demands by protesters, including some left-wing politicians, in Spain to tear down the statues.
The Italian-born explorer, who made his travels on behalf of the Spanish crown, is a national hero in Spain, where dozens of cities have statues to honour him.
Following the death last month of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, anti-racism protesters across the United States and around the world have targeted statues of historical figures, including Columbus.
Columbus statues were either taken down or vandalised in several cities in the United States, including St Louis, Boston, Richmond and Detroit.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field