SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Ever since protestors tore down the controversial Santa Fe Plaza obelisk in 2020, Santa Fe city councilors have been trying to figure out what to do with the statue and the space. They have spent months collecting public input and facing a lot of pushback. The statue, which once stood tall over the plaza, has been seen as racist since it honored union soldiers who fought Native Americans during the Civil War.
A group of city councilors finally submitted their proposal to rebuild the statue. “The idea was to rebuild it in a manner where it was bonded together with a contrasting modern material so that you would continue to see kind of where it had been fractured,” councilor Carol Romero-Wirth said. It would also replace a historic engraving referring to Native Americans as “Savages” with plaques explaining the complex history.
The proposal isn’t sitting well with dozens of people who protested at last week’s city council meeting. Councilor Romero-Wirth says, after a conversation over the weekend with other councilors, the group decided to withdraw the resolution. They plan to do that formally at a special meeting Wednesday night, Mar. 15, in chambers. “We feel we have put forward a solution and we think it’s best and appropriate to step back, partially to lower the temperature but also to really take some time to think and ruminate about what’s been said,” Romero-Wirth said.
While Romero-Wirth is one of the original sponsors of the resolution, she’s not upset to see it tabled, for now. “I personally, and as a group, feel like we have restarted the conversation about what we want on the Plaza and that’s a good thing,” she said. “Maybe with time, a path forward will become apparent.”
The space where the Obelisk stood will stay the way it is until further notice.