Tourists were shut off from the B.C. legislature’s rotunda this week as work began to hide four historical murals behind walls.
MLAs voted in 2007 to remove the murals and display them elsewhere, because some people find the colonial depictions of aboriginal people to be offensive.
“The four murals were commissioned in 1932 as a gift to the province from Provincial Secretary S.L. Howe. They were completed by artist George Southwell to depict Howe’s desire to illustrate the ‘establishment of civilization’ in B.C.
• ‘Labour’ shows the building of either Fort Langley in the 1820s or Fort Victoria in the 1840s.
• ‘Justice’ shows colonial Chief Justice Matthew Baillie Begbie holding court in Clinton during the Cariboo gold rush in the 1860s.
• ‘Courage’ depicts the meeting of captains Vancouver and Quadra at Nootka Sound in 1792 to turn over Vancouver Island territory from the Spanish to the British.
• ‘Enterprise’ shows Hudson’s Bay Company official James Douglas landing at Clover Point to select the site of Fort Victoria in 1843.
Well, I can certainly see why that particular subset of glue-sniffing, victocratic, free-riding Natives — such as the 40% our government claims abuse their children — would object to depictions of “Labour” and “Enterprise”…
Unconfirmed sources indicate that consideration is being given to replacing the murals with depictions of slavery, torture and ritual human sacrifice from early American “civilizations” that eventually succumbed to oppressive European influences such as “mathematics”, “written language”, and “the wheel”.