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Published January 22, 2016
MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA— Officials in Monterey, California are estimating the replacement cost for a new head on the Junipero Serra granite statue will be $77,000.
The statue was decapitated last October just weeks after Pope Francis canonized Serra as a saint. The statue’s original head has never been recovered.
Serra, who established the Catholic mission system in California, is controversial among American Indians, who opposed Pope Francis canonizing him. They opposed Serra’s canonization because under his Catholic mission system, American Indians were whipped and beaten – even fatally.
Admitting to the violence perpetrated on American Indians, Serra wrote:
“I am willing to admit that in the infliction of [flogging], there may have been inequalities and excesses committed on the part of the some of the priests, and that we are all exposed to err in that regard.”
The Serra statue has been at Lower Presidio Historic Park since 1891.