Father Serra is credited with bringing Catholicism to California but many blame him 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. .. They say he was an agent of Spanish colonialism who forced them to convert to Catholicism and destroyed their tribes and culture. [35] In August 2017, amid the controversy over public display and vandalism of Serra statues, the Ventura County Star published an Op-ed calling for the removal of such statues. 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. July 30th, 2020 A statue of Father Junipero Serra is removed from in front of Ventura City Hall on July 23. [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. Some people say that Junipero Serra is a symbol of colonialism. Photo by Stephen Heap. The Junipero Serra statue at Ventura City Hall. [3]:13 In 1986, Burns' proposal was unanimously adopted by the Ventura City Council. The wooden statue is being moved into storage until a more permanent home is found. 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. Last week, the Ventura City Council voted to remove a bronze statue of the Roman Catholic priest which sits outside City Hall, along with a wooden statue of Serra located inside City Hall. Serra brought Catholic missions to California in the 18th century and founded nine of the 21 current missions in the state. 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. 8/8 SLIDES. Moreover, Stanford University cut all affiliations with Father Serra. On Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782, Spanish missionary, Father Junipero Serra, founded Mission San Buenaventura. In his speech, Gov. "[30], The City's plan to display the wooden replica in the atrium of Ventura City Hall was met with objections from the city art committee and the Candelaria American Indian Council. The City had already commissioned through the art committee a series of murals reproducing local Chumash petroglyphs in the atrium. kimberly@vcreporter.com. Fr. "[10], By the 1980s, it had deteriorated from years of exposure to Ventura's salt air and from the pooling of rainwater in the collar of the statue's robe, which formed a basin. Rally At Father Serra Statue In Front Of Ventura 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. [7], The disposition of the original clay sculpture is unknown. Removal of a historic landmark requires a review under the California Environmental Quality Act. [47] A statue in Carmel was removed for safekeeping. "[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. July 2020. Father Junipero Serra(1713-1784) was a Roman CatholicSpanish Franciscan friar who founded nine Spanish Missions in California stretching from San Diegoto Carmel. 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. [25], In 1988, the City of Ventura accepted a $17,000 bid from a group of student artists at the California Sculpture Center at College of the Desert in Palm Desert to create a bronze cast of the sculpture using the wood replica. [40], In the early morning of July 24, construction crews removed the statue from its plinth. Plaque displayed at the base of the statue. At age 16, he entered the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church, a group of priests who follow the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi. Following Serra's canonization in 2015, Serra statues were vandalized at Carmel Mission(smeared with green paint, "Saint of Genocide" … A proposal to remove St. Junipero Serra from Ventura County’s official seal is unwarranted, and elected officials need to know Serra’s true story, according to … [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. 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. Photo by Stephen Heap. Protection of historic mission property. In 1782, Serra founded Mission San Buenaventura, his ninth and final mission, on a site that became downtown Ventura. The right side of the seal shows industries of Ventura County. 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. The statue, sculpted by Uno John Palo Kangas, was placed in a prominent location in a public park across the street from the Ventura County Courthouse in 1936. [12][14], Ownership of the concrete statue passed from Ventura County to the City of Ventura in 1971. However, the very English language used by the protesters against Junipero is in itself a symbol of colonialism. Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, representatives from the Barbareño/Venureño Band of Mission Indians and Father Tom Elewaut, the pastor of Mission San … 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 mold was placed in front of the courthouse, and a scaffolding was built around the mold. (Photo by Anna Tretko) A grassroots group of current and former Ventura residents has sued the city over the removal last week of a statue of 18th century Spanish missionary Junipero Serra from … [2], 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. Objections to the public display of Serra statuary cite the mistreatment of the Native American people during the mission era. 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. But how do we best do it? 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. In all, 10,000 man hours were dedicated to creating the wood replica. 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. Jessica M. Roybal, the executive director of the Indian Council, said “What a slap in the face to the Indian people.”[31] Members of the Padre Serra Parish in nearby Camarillo offered to display the wooden statue in a place of honor but were turned down. In 2015, he was canonized by Pope Francis — the first canonization on U.S. soil — and has remained a controversial figure for what critics argue was his poor treatment of Native Americans. [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. [3]:11 In 1983, Ventura City Councilman Russell Burns, a mechanical engineer, presented a report to the City Council describing the deterioration of the statue and concluding that the statue "in the not too distant future will fall apart. ... tribal chair of the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians; and Father Tom Elewaut, pastor of the San Buenaventura mission, the ninth and final mission founded by … [31][25], In May 1980, primer paint was poured over the concrete statue; city workers sandblasted the paint from the statue. Serra was beatified by Pope John Paul II on … [He had wanted to found it earlier - and make it the headquarters for all the Missions - but the military overruled it. [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. 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. [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. 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. [41], Junípero Serra was a Roman Catholic Spanish priest and friar of the Franciscan Order who founded nine Spanish missions in California. [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. 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. Defend Father Serra! Mission San Buenaventura was the ninth in the series of California Missions to be founded by Father Serra, and it was his last. [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. They will also remove the wooden Serra statue in the City Hall attrium. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) 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. [11] The farm implements museum was delayed when its chief proponent, Bob Pfeiler, became ill.[12] In 1996, the concrete statue was discovered by a reporter for the Los Angeles Times in a scrap yard operated by Oilfield Service & Trucking Company (OST) along Ventura Avenue. [3]:6 According to a contemporary of the artist, Kangas used Meiners Oak resident Gordon Douglas as a model for the face of Serra. [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. Sunday June 21, 2020. On Easter Sunday, March 31, 1782, Spanish missionary, Father Junipero Serra, founded Mission San Buenaventura. Sign up to receive email alerts for the most recent action items and information in bringing back our Father Junipero Serra monument! by Kimberly Rivers. By viewing our video content, you are accepting the terms of our. [3]:57 The bronze figure was then cast in 20 pieces using the "lost wax" method. Junipero Serra never killed an Indian. 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 people of Ventura are invited to share written responses online, which will be reviewed by the City Council.