A group of city council members in Barcelona wants to take down the famous statue of Christopher Columbus in the town center, arguing that it inappropriately celebrates the explorer’s colonial history.
The memorial of the Italian explorer, which stands 197 ft. tall, was built for the Barcelona Universal Exposition in 1888. It features a bronze statue of Columbus atop a column, with a base decorated with figures from Spanish history.
The same Barcelona council members are also calling for the city to stop celebrating a national Spanish holiday on Oct. 12 commemorating Columbus’s first arrival in the Americas.
Columbus Day in the U.S. is celebrated on the second Monday in October, although some cities observe the national holiday as Indigenous Peoples Day instead.
The image of Columbus is not the only monument on their hitlist: the councillors also want the statue of the merchant and slave trader Antonio López y López, Marquis of Comillas, removed from its plinth outside the post office building.
In its place, the trio propose a monument to commemorate the victims of the slave trade.
José María González, the Podemos-backed mayor of the southern city of Cádiz, tweeted: “We never discovered America; we massacred and suppressed a continent and its cultures in the name of God.”