The University of Notre Dame has announced that it will cover all murals depicting Christopher Columbus on its campus.
In all, there are 12 murals dating back to the 1880s in the school’s Main Building that will be covered, although the school will photograph the murals to be displayed elsewhere alongside an explanation of their context. The school has also reserved the right to display the artwork “occasionally.”
The announcement comes after more than 300 students, employees, and alumni of the university signed a petition calling for the murals’ removal.
Notre Dame President Reverend John Jenkins wrote in a letter that while the murals were supposedly meant to “encourage” newcomers to the U.S. during a time of intense anti-Catholic rhetoric, it is necessary to “acknowledge” the exploitation of Native people.
The decision comes as support around the world is growing to change Christopher Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, with many U.S. cities making the switch, including Columbus, Ohio.
Four states have officially done away with the colonist’s holiday, including Alaska, Minnesota, Vermont, and South Dakota, which recognizes the holiday as Native American Day.
Nevada also celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but on a different day than Columbus Day.