BANGOR, Maine — Bangor City Council voted 9-0 to remove the Estevan Gomez monument Monday night.
The statue honors Gomez, a Portuguese explorer believed to have kidnapped Native Americans 500 years ago. Bangor city officials started exploring the idea of removing the monument this past summer, at the request of Penobscot Nation Ambassador Maulian Dana.
The order directs that the primary piece of the Gomez Monument, the upper cross, be removed and displayed at the Bangor Historical Society with appropriate language indicating the historical and cultural contest of multiple viewpoints as to the events of the Gomez expedition. It also directs the removal and deconstruction of the pedestal and patio as a continued display of the pedestal would be confusing, aesthetically unpleasing, and illogical.
A subcommittee was tasked with taking public comment and researching the history of Gomez earlier this month. That committee voted unanimously to recommend the monument be removed.
"It's been a painful reminder for members of the Penobscot Nation," Amy Roeder, chair of the Gomez Memorial Subcommittee, said. "Especially since they're our closest neighbors and it shows we're looking to be responsible neighbors and good friends with the Penobscot Nation."
The recommendation d replaced with a display honoring the contribution of the Indigenous peoples of the area. first went to Bangor's Business & Economic Development Committee before the City Council.