SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Wednesday, tensions ran high during the Santa Fe City Council meeting. Councilors are considering redesigning the controversial obelisk that was torn down in 2020.
It has people angry and sparked protests before the meeting at the Santa Fe City Council.
People are angry that councilors are considering plans to reconstruct the obelisk that stood in the Santa Fe Plaza until protestors tore it down in 2020.
The city council had been deferring the vote for months, awaiting a survey that asked the public what should be done with what was left of the obelisk. The report was finally brought up last month.
Now, city councilors are introducing a resolution to take the next steps based on the survey recommendations that propose to mend, redesign, or reframe the structure.
The designs would use original pieces of the obelisk. Under the current amendments, it would include a water feature.
Many waited late into the evening to speak at the meeting. Some argued the monument is a piece of history, and the statues that used to be there should be taken to the New Mexico history museum.
The debate over the inscription on the obelisk has been raging for at least half a century.
In 1973, the word “savage” prompted the Santa Fe City Council to vote for removing the monument altogether. According to articles from the Gallup Independent and Albuquerque Journal from that time, the plan was scrapped after historical preservationists raised concerns.
They argued removing the obelisk would hurt the plaza’s status as a national historical landmark and jeopardize a federally funded plaza renovation project.