The Bangor City Council is scheduled to discuss a proposal from the Penobscot Nation to remove a controversial monument that memorializes a Portuguese explorer who abducted Native Americans.

A concrete cross on the Bangor Waterfront that memorializes Portuguese explorer Estevan Gomez is the latest U.S. monument to be considered for storage or relocation, Bangor Daily News reported Wednesday.

Communities across the nation have seen controversial monuments defaced, toppled, or stored as protestors and activists call to end the celebration of controversial historical figures.

The monument was donated in 1999 by Portuguese Americans and displays Gomez’ name and the inscription, “A Portuguese navigator and explorer in the service of Spain landed in this area in 1525 AD.”

Maulian Dana, tribal ambassador for the Penobscot Nation, suggested on Monday that the monument be removed from the park, that has been named after Gomez, and relocated.

“A lot of tribal members have been concerned with it throughout the years, knowing the history of this explorer basically abducting indigenous people and selling them or attempting to sell them into the slave trade,” Dana said. “It’s something that it’s probably time to address in this moment in history, where we’re thinking about what these things mean, these statues, these monuments, the Confederate flags and all of this stuff.”

Council Chairperson Clare Davitt said she agrees with the proposal and thinks there is enough support behind it, however, she expects some pushback.


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