A historic California mission founded by the controversial St. Junípero Serra has announced that a bronze statue of the saint, removed in 2020 from the local city hall amid protests over Serra’s legacy, will be installed at the mission later this month, as work on its concrete base has already begun….

In 2020, the Ventura City Council unanimously approved a motion to permanently remove two statues of Serra from its San Buenaventura City Hall. One is a 9’-3” bronze piece that was located outside of city hall, while the other, which was located in the atrium, was a wooden replica put in the other place while the original was repaired in the early 1980s.

The bronze cast replaced an original 1936 concrete statue located in a small park overlooking downtown Ventura and the Pacific Ocean. In 1988, a group of student artists at the California Sculpture Center at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert created a bronze cast of the sculpture using the wood replica. The bronze cast was unveiled in front of Ventura City Hall at a ceremony on October 20, 1989.

As part of the 2020 motion to remove the statues, the city council agreed to relocate the bronze piece to Mission San Buenaventura, which was the last mission founded by Serra in 1782….

On June 19, 2020, then-Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, Father Tom Elewaut, pastor of Mission San Buenaventura, and then-Chair Julie Tumanait of the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians (Chumash) issued a joint statement recommending the statue be moved to the mission….

The statue has been in storage ever since.

Of the news that the statue will relocate to the mission, Elewaut said the church is happy to have Serra back….

From Crux