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Christopher Columbus murals cause controversy at Notre Dame

(WNDU)
Published: Dec. 4, 2017 at 7:13 PM EST
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Historic murals are causing controversy in Notre Dame’s most iconic building.

The murals are of Christopher Columbus and they have resided in Notre Dame’s Main Building since 1884. Some want the murals to be removed.

“The most difficult part about the murals is that they reside in the most iconic building on campus,” said John Slattery, Postdoctoral professor.

“And there’s nothing there right now that allows people to walk through without examining the murals critically.”

An informational pamphlet stands right by the murals, but for Slattery and other students, that isn’t enough.

“It’s easy to walk by,” he said. “And it’s this uncritical acceptance or examination of the murals that the signers of the letter find so problematic.”

Slattery wrote the letter to Notre Dame, and now has roughly 600 signatures.

“What we would really love to have happen is if Father Jenkins and others would come together to have a conversation with students and faculty and staff,” said Slattery. “Especially Native American students and people of color, to discuss what can be done so that people cannot walk by the murals uncritically.”

Notre Dame put out a statement today, saying: “The Columbus murals are of historic and artistic value, and the university has no plans to remove them.”

And while Slattery and other students alike agree they have historic value, they believe the acceptance for them is the real problem.

To read the letter, click on this link:

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