Christopher Columbus has stood inside Discovery Park in Chula Vista since 1991. During that time, vandals have attacked the tall bronze statue several times. Someone dumped red paint on the statue on Columbus Day last year.
Now, there is a movement within the South Bay city to remove the statue permanently. The city’s Parks and Recreation Commission was scheduled to discuss removing the statue during its Thursday night meeting. A Chula Vista spokeswoman said the city has received requests to remove the statue.
However, the spokeswoman said the agenda item was removed to allow the city time to do more research.
Chula Vista City Councilman John McCann said the statue should not be removed.
“You can’t erase history,” said McCann. “We should be uniting people over modern-day issues like homelessness, childhood education, instead of dwelling on issues that happened over 500 years ago that no one has the ability to change.”
“I don’t think that it represents anything good,” said Southwestern College Associated Student Organization President Christian Sanchez. “I don’t think it should be represented especially in a public domain like a park.”
Sanchez argued Columbus shouldn’t even be in Discovery Park, let alone Chula Vista.
“The people who were here before Christopher Columbus discovered America,” he argued.
Sanchez also said Christopher Columbus represents the genocide of those indigenous people. He liked the idea of having the statue removed and possibly replaced with another explorer or someone who discovered something for the betterment of man.
Councilman McCann said removing the statue would require City Council's approval.