In a letter to students dated Jan. 20, university President John Jenkins wrote,“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.”
“In recent years…many have come to see the murals as at best blind to the consequences of Columbus’s voyage for indigenous peoples who inhabited this “new” world and at worst demeaning towards them.”
Jenkins said the murals would be “covered by woven material consistent with the décor of the space,” and that “It will be possible to display the murals on occasion.”
In 2017, 340 Notre Dame students signed a letter calling for the murals to be removed, writing, “Columbus’ fortune, fame and wealth came from the destruction, mutilation and transaction of Native American and African persons.”
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