And Finally Artist News

Calls to put Prince statue in place of Christopher Columbus in Minnesota city

By | Published on Tuesday 5 September 2017


A campaign has been launched in the city of St Paul, Minnesota calling on officials to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus with one of local boy Prince.

Columbus is, of course, the man often credited with ‘discovering’ America. However, the creator of the petition, Wintana Melekin, says that removing his monument would be in line with recent efforts around the country to remove statues of people involved in the slave trade – efforts which, of course, sparked violent protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of black people”, says the petition. “Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down the state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved black and native peoples in the Americas”.

It continues: “We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry. Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish black and native peoples, we should honour members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational”.

As someone who both lived and died in Minnesotan capital Minneapolis, Prince should be the person to replace Columbus, reckons Melekin, alongside another inspirational leader to be chosen by the Native American community. And the nearly 4000 people who have signed the petition presumably agree.