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[33] In May 1992, the bronze cast's hand was painted with red paint, and a message was stenciled on the concrete below accusing Serra of having failed to honor God and claiming that Serra was a symbol of slavery to Native Americans. Emily Morris 2020-07-31T13:51:49-07:00 July 30th, 2020 | A statue of Father Junipero Serra is removed from in front of Ventura City Hall on July 23. The Father Junipero Serra statue, as seen here in front of Ventura City Hall, has been removed and moved to Mission San Buenaventura. He established missions up and down California as he traveled by foot from San Diego to San Francisco. Father Junipero Serra Statue Mission San Buenaventura Ventura Ca - Buy this stock photo and explore similar images at Adobe Stock Father Junipero Serra is the most recent target of protesters calling for the removal, and often the tearing down, of historical statues across our nation. The Ventura City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to remove a controversial statue of Father Junipero Serra from outside its City Hall. US HEADLINES: Nearly 100 speakers took turns over three hours extolling the virtues or excoriating the legacy of 18th century Roman Catholic Saint Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, the Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians and Father Tom Elewaut issue a joint statement agreeing to move a statue of missionary Junipero Serra. The Father Serra statues in downtown Ventura (Both outside and inside City Hall) are offensive and must be taken down by the City of Ventura, and Ventura Unified must move towards changing the names of Junipero Serra Elementary and Blanche Reynolds Elementary schools, immediately. Merriam said: "A beautiful statue is about to be made visible, exemplifying the spirit of this pioneering priest – noble, brave and holy – a patriot of patriots. The City had already commissioned through the art committee a series of murals reproducing local Chumash petroglyphs in the atrium. The bronze statue of St. Junipero Serra in front of Ventura's City Hall. Of course he was going to protect us. He enslaved us and degraded us as human beings.". [20][3]:17–19[21][22], The reproduction process began by taking precise measurements of all aspects of the concrete statue, using 1,782 points of reference. In all, 10,000 man hours were dedicated to creating the wood replica. View of Father Serra Statue and California Street from steps of Ventura City Hall. (Credit Ken Lund/Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0) (Credit Ken Lund/Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0) By a 6-0 vote, the Ventura City Council approved a motion at the end of a special meeting on Wednesday, July 15, to permanently remove two statues of St. Junípero Serra from public land. The Junipero Serra statue at Ventura City Hall. VENTURA (CBSLA) – The Ventura City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to remove a controversial statue of Father Junipero Serra from outside its City Hall. Plaque displayed at the base of the statue. In 1936, the Federal Art Project (part of the New Deal) funded this heroic sculpture. The Ventura City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to remove a controversial statue of Father Junipero Serra from outside its City Hall. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images) Our news is free on LAist. But how do we best do it? In addition, the statue was vandalised with paint and the City sandblasted the statue, damaging the statue's smooth outer layer and accelerating the decay. The young Catholics placed themselves between the vandals and the statue of Saint Junipero Serra located at Ventura city hall in California Thu Jun 25, 2020 - 3:36 pm EST The last of these nine missions, founded on March 31, 1782, was Mission San Buenaventura, which today is an active parish of 3,000 members located at 211 East Main Street in Ventura. NOTE: On June 18, 2020, the City of Ventura issued a press release stating that it plans to work with members of the community in moving the statue of Father Junipero Serra to a new, non-public location. The petition also calls for the Ventura Unified School District to move towards changing the names of Junipero Serra Elementary and Blanche Reynolds Elementary schools. [6] The sculpting process began with the creation of a full-size clay model; the clay model took four months to complete and was built at Kangas' studio at 3929 Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles. [3]:13[15], Based on the findings, Councilman Burns proposed the creation of a wood replica of the statue which could then be used as a model for a bronze cast to be put in place of the decaying concrete statue. What else would he do? In 1935, Uno John Palo Kangas (1904–1957), a sculptor born in Finland and raised in Michigan, was commissioned by Ventura County and the Works Progress Administration to create a statue of Father Serra as part of the Federal Art Project. The city installed a bronze statue in 1989 to replace the deteriorating original. Some missions moved swiftly, such as San Luis Obispo and the San Gabriel Mission, to move their statues by the end of June.. In other states, some statues have been vandalized and forcibly removed by demonstrators. VENTURA, Calif. - A few people stopped by to take pictures of the historic Father Junipero Serra statue in front of Ventura City Hall on Father's Day. On the same day the statue of the same man was toppled in Los Angeles. Father Serra statue (Ventura, California), national call for the removal certain statues, Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians, City of Ventura Historic Landmarks and Districts, "City of San Buenaventura Historic Landmarks & Districts", "Ventura City Council Votes To Remove Junipero Serra Statue", "Father Serra's Statue Gets New Life – in Bronze", "Sculptor Will Depict C.C.C. The concrete statue was replaced by the bronze cast in 1989. There’s been controversy over whether a statue of Father Junipero Serra should remain in downtown Ventura, in from of Ventura City Hall. For a time Saturday, it looked as if a statue of Junipero Serra outside City Hall in downtown Ventura might join the growing ranks of toppled figures. Mask appears on Junipero Serra statue in Ventura Tracy Lehr / KEYT Statue of Father Junipero Serra wearing a mask shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak. "Comparison of Three Statues", a paper by Shirley Week (Kangas' daughter), October 9, 1990, p. 3, contained in Serra Statue ephemera file at the Research Library of the Museum of Ventura County. [13][3]:53 As of April 2018[update], the concrete statue remained at the OST yard in a decaying wooden crate. Father Serra was called by many "the apostle of California" and has long held an honored place in California's diverse and culturally collaborative history. [7] The clay sculpture was built around a frame of wood and chicken wire which Kangas then covered with layers of clay. "Serra is not the historical hero people thought when this landmark statue to him was erected," the petition states. At 4 a.m. on a Thursday last July — in the midst of nationwide turmoil about the heroes we create when we put statues in public parks — a large bronze statue of Father Junipero Serra was removed from a highly visible location in front of Ventura’s classic Beaux-Arts City Hall. Father Junipero Serra (1713-1784) was a Roman Catholic Spanish Franciscan friar who founded nine Spanish Missions in California stretching from San Diego to Carmel. (Credit Ken Lund/Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0) (Credit Ken Lund/Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0) The future of a statue St. Junípero Serra in the city of Ventura will be brought before the court of public opinion at a virtual community discussion to … It belongs where it was placed, by the community of Ventura and the generous fundraising efforts to replace the historic statue. VENTURA, Calif. This statue of Father Junípero Serra in front of Ventura City Hall and other Serra statues will be removed. "[3]:12 The City in 1984 commissioned studies of the statue by an art conservator, an engineering firm, and a concrete expert. A wooden version sits inside city hall. The nonprofit Coalition for Historical Integrity has sued the city of Ventura over the Ventura City Council’s decision to remove the statue of Father Junipero Serra from the front of Ventura City Hall. [31][25], In May 1980, primer paint was poured over the concrete statue; city workers sandblasted the paint from the statue. It is as iconic as the train horn that announces the train’s arrival, in this beautiful city. But it wasn’t toppled by protesters. LaVere said releasing the statement two days before the rally was not an effort to steal the demonstrators' thunder or head off any potential vandalism. [3]:37, The carving took 14 months from April 1987 to June 1988. "Father Serra destroyed many tribes — their culture. A place to not constantly be reminded of what happened to us and our families.". After the Courthouse was repurposed as Ventura City Hall, the concrete Father Serra statue was designated as City of Ventura Historic Landmark No. [49], 1936 Federal Art Project in Ventura, California of Junípero Serra, Bronze cast in front of Ventura City Hall in 2009. The public display of Serra statuary has been a source of controversy, particularly among those alleging that Serra was responsible for the suppression of the culture of Chumash people. [7], The disposition of the original clay sculpture is unknown. Alan Salazar, with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, said the statue should have been taken down a long time ago. Although the historic figure is … The city council decided in 2020 to remove the bronze statue and the wood replica from public display. A nationwide campaign to remove statues of historical figures deemed to be racist is now bubbling up in Ventura. [5], Kangas began by visiting the Santa Barbara and Ventura missions to study images of Serra and to learn about his life and style of dress. [40], In the early morning of July 24, construction crews removed the statue from its plinth. This statue of Father Junípero Serra in front of Ventura City Hall and other Serra statues will be removed. The Father Junipero Serra statue, as seen here in front of Ventura City Hall, has been removed and moved to Mission San Buenaventura. Located on a pedestrian island in front of Ventura City Hall at the intersection of N. California Street and Poli Street is a bronze statue of Father Junipero Serra. The bronze statue of St. Junipero Serra in front of Ventura's City Hall. Junipero Serra founded the city of Ventura in 1782 when he established the mission of San Buenaventura, and his statue has stood in front of the city hall since 1936. Objections to the public display of Serra statuary cite the mistreatment of the Native American people during the mission era. Ventura sued for removing Serra statue Lawsuit seeks statue's return to site outside City Hall. [3]:57 The bronze figure was then cast in 20 pieces using the "lost wax" method. [39] The council found that the bronze statue did not meet the requirements to be designated a historic landmark since the bronze cast had never been officially deemed as such after it replaced the concrete statue. kimberly@vcreporter.com. [3]:59, The bronze cast replaced the original concrete statue in 1989 in the small park at the top of California Street overlooking downtown Ventura and the Pacific Ocean. The original concrete Father Serra statue was declared Ventura Historic Landmark No. Youths in Camp", "Fra Serra Clay Statue Finished by Sculptor", "Merriam Pays High Honor to Father Serra", "Buried Treasure: Original Statue of Father Junipero Serra Found in Scrap Yard", "Two meetings on fate of Ventura's Father Serra statue slated as emotions run high", "Transformation: Retired Cabinetmaker's Rendering of Father Serra Helps Resurrect a Statue Ravaged by Sea Air, Time", "Church Members on Mission to Get City's Serra Statue", "Father Serra sculpture being recast at COD", "Palm Desert Sculpture School to Cast Bronze Copy of Junipero Serra Statue", "Serra Statue to Be Shown Over Protests of 2 Groups", "Latino Catholics See Reflection in a Friar Set for Sainthood", "Junipero Serra statue to be moved away from Ventura City Hall", "California is confronting its ugly, racist past. Father Serra is credited with bringing Catholicism to California but many blame him for what they say were his efforts to do away with … on Saturday, June 20, to demand that the statue of Father Junipero Serra in front of Ventura City Hall be taken down on grounds that he had committed atrocities against Native Americans, including the local Chumash. [3]:2 The wood replica was installed at the atrium of Ventura City Hall on October 7, 1988. Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, the Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians and Father Tom Elewaut issue a joint statement agreeing to move a statue of missionary Junipero Serra. Statues of Father Junipero Serra are being taken down or torn down due to his historical involvement in enslaving and killing the native people of California. Kangas was paid $5,000 for his work. 2 statues removed, one more in works. 3 in 1974. [34], Serra was canonised as a saint by Pope Francis in September 2015, drawing national attention to Ventura's Father Serra statue. [3]:13 The studies reached the conclusion that the statue should be moved inside and that the statue was too fragile to be copied by molding. [12][14], Ownership of the concrete statue passed from Ventura County to the City of Ventura in 1971. But, there’s been controversy about the way the settlers treated Native Americans. In late May, protesters tore down statues of Serra in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and Los Angeles’s Olvera Street. Father Junipero Serra(1713-1784) was a Roman CatholicSpanish Franciscan friar who founded nine Spanish Missions in California stretching from San Diegoto Carmel. However, a newspaper story from April 1938 suggests that the original clay model may have been loaned to a museum in Butte, Montana, for an exhibition on scale models of sculpture. It was June 2001, our first trip to California. The author, Rellis Smith, wrote: "To have statues such as the one in front of Ventura City Hall is a direct slap in the face of all Chumash and other Native American cultures. (Credit Ken Lund/Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0) (Credit Ken Lund/Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0) By a 6-0 vote, the Ventura City Council approved a motion at the end of a special meeting on Wednesday, July 15, to permanently remove two statues of St. Junípero Serra from public land. Photo by Stephen Heap. Finnish sculptor John Palo-Kangas originally cast it in cement, which decayed over the years. He gained sainthood in 2015 when he was canonized by Pope Francis. [15][3]:28–39[23][24] The carving began with large strips of basswood from linden trees in a Great Lakes forest that were glued together to form a 1,200-pound block. Statue of Father Junipero Serra wearing a mask shortly after the COVID-19 outbreak. In 1782, Serra founded Mission San Buenaventura, his ninth and final mission, on a site that became downtown Ventura. Following Serra's canonization in 2015, Serra statues were vandalized at Carmel Mission (smeared with green paint, "Saint of Genocide" written on a headstone),[42] Monterey's Lower Presidio Historic Park (decapitated),[43] San Fernando Mission (hands painted red and word "murderer" scrawled),[44] Mission Santa Barbara (decapitated and covered in red paint),[45] and San Gabriel Mission (cut with electric saw and splashed with red paint). [20] The wooden Serra statue was placed in a corner of the atrium with explanatory plaques. "As a community we cannot and will not support the dehumanization of the Native American community any longer," the petition says. No. [32] In January 1991, four glass jars of orange and blue paint were thrown at the bronze cast; the words "Spirit of Crazy Horse" and an image of a clenched fist were also spray-painted on the sidewalk at the base of the statue. Father Serra was called by many "the apostle of California" and has long held an honored place in California's diverse and culturally collaborative history. The statue of St. Junipero Serra is the latest to be either defaced or forcibly removed by people protesting against monuments that depict the country's colonial and racist past. A statue of Father Junipero Serra stands in front of the San Gabriel Mission on September 23, 2015. The wood replica was set in the atrium of the city hall for public display. requesting that the City of Ventura remove the statue of Father Junipero Serra from its location near City Hall. [3]:6 Kangas gathered sand and gravel from the Ventura River,[4] which he used to make a concrete aggregate material that he poured on location into the mold. In late June, this movement hit close to home in Ventura. 3 in 1974. And I suspect that it's probably inevitable.". VENTURA (CBSLA) – The Ventura City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to remove a controversial statue of Father Junipero Serra from outside its City Hall. The bronze statue of St. Junipero Serra in front of Ventura's City Hall. US HEADLINES: Nearly 100 speakers took turns over three hours extolling the virtues or excoriating the legacy of 18th century Roman Catholic Saint Ventura, Calif. — The public is invited to join the Ventura City Council for a virtual community discussion on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. about the Father Junipero Serra statue, located near City Hall on Poli Street. A statue of Serra in front of the Old Mission Santa Barbara was decapitated and doused with red paint in 2017. In his speech, Gov. [15][3]:24 According to a book written on the process, "more than 4,000 charts, drawings, grids, and photographs were made from the measurements. [41], Junípero Serra was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded nine Spanish missions in California. Junipero Serra founded the city of Ventura in 1782 when he established the mission of San Buenaventura, and his statue has stood in front of the city hall since 1936. [13] A crane from OST had been used to remove the statue in 1989 and the statue was to have been temporarily stored at the OST yard. A statue in Los Angeles and another statue in San Francisco were toppled on Juneteenth. Demanded by many Ventura residents for weeks, a controversial statue of 18th century Spanish missionary Junipero Serra was removed from in front of City Hall early Thursday. The original concrete Father Serra statue was declared Ventura Historic Landmark No. by Kimberly Rivers. The City loaned an initial sum of $15,000 to begin the process to be repaid by local boosters who raised more than $100,000 through the sale of limited edition 18-inch bronze replicas (hand-tooled by Charles Kubilos),[16][17] posters/lithographs,[18][19] and T-shirts, hats, and pins bearing the phrase "I Support the Serra Statue". © 2021 www.vcstar.com. The mold was placed in front of the courthouse, and a scaffolding was built around the mold. "[3]:28 Master carver Wilbur Rubottom and a team of 16 carvers from the Channel Islands Carvers club then painstakingly created the wood replica in a studio at the old livery building on Palm Street in Ventura. The city installed a bronze statue in 1989 to replace the deteriorating original. It was June 2001, our first trip to California. A bronze cast replaced the concrete statue in 1989. VENTURA, Calif. - Leaders from the City of Ventura have been discussing the future removal of … "But I will acquiesce to it if it helps bring some healing to the present-day Chumash community. Removal of a historic landmark requires a review under the California Environmental Quality Act. "[36], In June 2020 as the national call for the removal certain statues intensified, the mayor of Ventura, the pastor of Mission San Buenaventura and Julie Tumait-Stenslie, the tribal chair of the Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians, issued a joint statement agreeing to take down the statue and have it “moved to a more appropriate non-public location.”[37] Tumait-Stenslie, reacting to defenders of Serra who say he protected and cared for indigenous people, said .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, "He did that because we were the free labor force, the slave labor for the missions. Emily Morris 2020-07-31T13:51:49-07:00 July 30th, 2020 | A statue of Father Junipero Serra is removed from in front of Ventura City Hall on July 23. The unveiling ceremony was attended by Kangas, Governor Frank Merriam, Mayor George A. Newell, Jr., and other notable persons. [3]:6 According to a contemporary of the artist, Kangas used Meiners Oak resident Gordon Douglas as a model for the face of Serra. In Ventura he was protected by young people from Ventura. Members of the art committee felt the statue was too large and not harmonious with the design of the atrium. [47] A statue in Carmel was removed for safekeeping. Yes. But some historians and others blame Serra for what they say were his efforts to do away with Native American culture in California and for the premature deaths of thousands of indigenous people. More coverage: Intertribal powwow comes to Oxnard. [27][28][3]:58–59, The bronze cast[9] was unveiled in front of Ventura City Hall at a ceremony on October 20, 1989, attended by more than 500 persons. The Father Serra statue in Ventura, California, standing 9 feet, 4 inches, was displayed in front of Ventura City Hall between 1936 to 2020. The Father Junípero Serra monument has stood as a city landmark in front of the Ventura City Hall since 1936. The Father Serra statue in Ventura, California, depicting Junípero Serra, the founder of Mission San Buenaventura, was commissioned by Ventura County through the Works Progress Administration as part of the Federal Art Project. [3]:6 After the concrete hardened, the mold was removed and Kangas smoothed the outer surface. The Indian Council objected due to Father Serra's alleged abuse and enslavement of the Chumash people. ", Even so, Elewaut said he acknowledged "the hurt and the loss of culture that the indigenous people experienced.". Statue of St. Junipero Serra at the Ventura (California) City Hall (photo: Sh) Paul Kengor Nation June 25, 2020. "The removal of the statue is going to give us a place to breathe. The nine-foot bronze statue of Father Junipero Serra was erected in 1989, replacing a cement version that had deteriorated since it was first erected in 1936 with funding from the New Deal. [3]:2 The carvers' studio was open to the public, and busloads of schoolchildren, senior citizens, and tourists visited the studio to observe the process. All rights reserved. [46], The attention and damage to the statues of Junípero Serra was renewed during the George Floyd protests which expanded to include monuments of individuals associated with the controversy over the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Americas. 3 in 1974. [4] The City planned to store the concrete statue until the completion of a planned farm implements museum, where the concrete statue was to be installed. A statue of Father Junipero Serra stands in front of the San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California on September 23, 2015. "We are calling for restorative justice and are petitioning for his statue to be removed immediately.". [15] During the 1987 Ventura County Fair, the wood block was temporarily moved to the county fairgrounds where the carvers' work became an attraction for visitors. [3]:6, On November 27, 1936, Kangas' concrete sculpture[9] was unveiled in front of the Ventura County Courthouse (later converted to Ventura City Hall). A plaque at the base of the statue states: "The citizens of the City of San Buenaventura gratefully recognize the extraordinary efforts of Councilman Russell Burns (1918–1994) and master carver Wilbur Rubottom (1914–1993) to replace the decaying concrete 1936 statue of Father Serra by John Palo-Kangas with this bronze copy dedicated on October 20, 1989. The statue is a designated historic landmark, the statement says. For the first time in Ventura County, a statue representing the colonization, enslavement and killing of the Chumash people, the indigenous people who lived on the land that today is called the City of San Buenaventura, will be removed. The last of these nine missions, founded on March 31, 1782, was Mission San Buenaventura, which today is an active parish of 3,000 members located at 211 East Main Streetin Ventura. Father for the district, could not be reached for comment allegations that he was racist committed! He enslaved us and our families. `` then covered with layers of clay inevitable..... People experienced. `` removing Serra statue was declared Ventura historic landmark No, and City.. This landmark statue to be removed gained sainthood in 2015 when he canonized! As one of the same man was toppled in Los Angeles and another in. Night to remove a controversial statue of Father Junipero Serra stands in front of Ventura remove bronze... 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