Notre Dame to Cover Murals of Christopher Columbus on Campus

The University of Notre Dame will cover murals on campus that illustrate Christopher Columbus in America, NBC News reports. According to a letter from Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins, the 12 murals—created in a 1880s and housed at the school's Main Building—conceal a “darker side” to Columbus’ story. While they were reportedly meant to “encourage immigrants” who had come to the U.S. in a period of anti-Catholic sentiment, the exploitation of Native Americans is “a side we must acknowledge,” Jenkins wrote. According to NBC, the murals are directly painted on the walls and will be “covered.” The artwork reportedly could still be “occasionally displayed,” and the school plans on taking photographs of the mural to be displayed elsewhere with an explanation of its context. This comes after more than 300 students, employees, and alumni of the school signed a 2017 letter that called for the murals to be removed.