Petition launched to replace Christopher Columbus statue with one of Prince

"Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.”

A group of Prince fans in Minnesota have launched a campaign to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus and replace it with a monument to the late singer.

The petition, which has achieved more than 9,000 signatures online, says that “Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not”.

“Across the nation, city governments are choosing to remove statues of white supremacists, slave owners, and those who threatened the livelihood of Black people,” the petition states.

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Prince performs after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. CREDIT: Kevin Kane/WireImage

“Here in Minnesota, communities are reigniting the demand to bring down state’s monument to Christopher Columbus, a man who murdered, raped and enslaved Black and Native peoples in the Americas. We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry.

“Rather than glorify a man who wanted to extinguish Black and Native peoples, we should honor members of our community whose leadership we find inspirational.”

It concludes: “Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not.”

The petition actually started in 2017, but it has experienced renewed traction and relevance after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the subsequent global outrage. It has now attracted almost 10,000 signatures.

A second part of it is calling for the State Capitol statue of Columbus to be replaced with one “chosen by [the] Native community” outside the Capitol, and a statue of Prince to be built separately.

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Earlier this month, a new petition also sought to replace a statue of a former KKK leader with one of Dolly Parton.

The monument to former grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest is currently located in the Tennessee Capitol building.

Last week, a guitar used by Prince on his ‘Purple Rain’ tour fetched over £450,000 ($563,000) at auction.

The custom electric blue instrument was one of four ‘cloud’ guitars used between 1984 and 1985 in support of the ‘When Doves Cry’ hitmaker’s seminal sixth studio album.

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