Junípero Serra Statue destroyed.

Junípero Serra Statue destroyed.

21-06-2020Twitter

​Two statues of the Majorcan Saint, Junípero Serra have been demolished in California.

Around 100 people destroyed a statue in San Francisco on Friday.

24 hours later a second was demolished by around 50 activists in downtown Los Angeles. The bronze sculpture was ripped from its pedestal with ropes amid cries of "Take it down, down!"

The San Francisco Art Commission, Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, and Father Tom Elewaut, from the Tumamait-Stenslie Mission, are arranging for the Juníper Serra statue opposite Ventura City Hall to be removed.

"We have listened to the requests and believe that the time has come for the statue to be removed and put in a more appropriate non-public location to avoid acts of vandalism,” they said

Native Americans claim Juníper Serra inflicted brutal punishments on indigenous people who tried to escape his evangelisation of California and have reportedly launched a campaign to get rid of every Junípero Serra statue in the State.

Reactions in Majorca

Bartolomé Tumi Bestard, ex-Consul of the United States and President of the Associació d'Amics del Pare Serra, described the events in San Francisco as "unfortunate".

“Similar attacks have occurred at least three times before, that I remember and one of them was just last year. The truth is that I am very sad and upset,” he said.

Felipe VI was supposed to visit the statue of Fra Junípero Serra during his visit to Petra this summer, but ex-Consul Bestard says that's unlikely to happen now.

"Given the current situation and the way people feel, it will be very difficult for him to come, because of the possible reactions," he said.

Petra Mayor, Salvador Femenies said he was "astonished" by the demolition of the statue in San Francisco and surprised by the decision to remove the one in Ventura.

"There is no historical reason, it is an incongruity, as have been the attacks on the statues of Columbus," he said. "Junípero Serra was an advocate of Indigenous Culture, and I don't think the attack on his statue had anything to do with events related to George Floyd or racism in general.”

Mayor Femenies, says he's received several expressions of sadness from Petra residents about the demolition of the statues and criticised Sonia Vivas for her comments on social media websites calling for the statue of Junípero Serra in Palma to be removed.

The Spanish Culture Minister, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, has also condemned the demolition of the statues.

“The attack on the images of Cervantes, Fray Junípero Serra or any others is incomprehensible and I condemn this childish, simplistic and dogmatic revisionism. It’s very sad,” he said.

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