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June 1, 2023

George Washington statue relocated

WATSONVILLE—A bust of U.S. President George Washington was removed from Watsonville Plaza on Thursday.

In February Watsonville City Council voted 5-2 to move the statue to the Main Branch of the Watsonville Public Library. The decision stemmed from national social unrest during the uprising of the Black Lives Matter movement that underscored, among other things, racial oppression and social justice. Activists claimed it was inappropriate to have Washington’s image in the plaza based on his history of slave ownership.

The relocation will cost the city between $7,000-9,000, Parks and Community Services Director Nick Calubaquib said. A “bilingual plaque on the podium of the bust that describes a broad historical perspective about George Washington,” will add an additional cost of about $2,000.

The statue was installed in 2001 as part of a $100,000 gift from the Alaga Family Estate. Mullen said it will take several weeks to fabricate the proper base for remounting it at the library.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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