A plaque that was damaged during vandalism in February 2019 has not be replaced.
Vandal target Columbus statue was eventually taken away. A plaque that was stolen during vandalism in February 2019 wasn’t replaced. Photo by Chris Stone

A task force assigned to determine the fate of a Christopher Columbus statue which used to stand in Chula Vista’s Discovery Park said Thursday it was seeking statements of interest to transfer its ownership.

The statue of the Genoan was permanently removed in 2020, and the Chula Vista City Council appointed an 11-member task force to recommend terms for how to dispose of it, proposals to replace it with art or a marker and proposals for renaming Discovery Park and a framework for naming parks and other city facilities.

Flags of groups calling for the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue flanked it in 2019. Photo by Chris Stone

The Christopher Columbus Statue and Discovery Park Task Force met several times over the last six months and on Thursday issued a Request for Statements of Interest to transfer ownership of the statue to any museum, historical society or educational organization. The statue was created by sculptor Mario Zamora, who died in 2017.

Any submissions must detail where the organization proposes to display the statue and what historical information will be included with the display. The selected organization also will be required to cover all costs associated with the transfer of the statue.

Submissions will be accepted through August 13 at 5 p.m. The task force will review and consider all submissions and may invite applicants to interview before a task force meeting, which will be open to the public. The task force will then make a recommendation for disposition to the city council for its final consideration this fall.

For more information about the Task Force, go to www.chulavistaca.gov/statuetaskforce.

— City News Service