Contentious, historic murals in B.C. Legislature coming down as show of respect for First Nations
VICTORIA–To the two Texan tourists, the murals were pretty pictures, of a history not their own, painted from a time long ago.
But when Paul and Jamie Trahan looked more closely at the four murals that encircle the grand rotunda in the B.C. Legislature, the nakedness popped out at them, as did the subtler message of the artwork.
“They make the natives look like slaves,” said the Austin resident.in Texas and throughout the U.S., paintings or murals of African Americans as slaves would be taken down because the history is still too fresh for many.
After a decade of controversy, that’s what the B.C. government is doing with the murals, which were commissioned as a gift to the province and depict four scenes from colonial history. The paintings are supposed to represent courage, enterprise, labour and justice and depict native men and women, bare-chested and working or watching as clothed colonial men sign documents or supervise.