Saying he feared it might be vandalized, Carmel city administrator Chip Rerig sent public works crews this morning to remove the statue of Junipero Serra, sculpted by Jo Mora in 1922, from its longtime home above the intersection of Serra Avenue and Camino de Monte at the north end of town.
Serra, a Franciscan priest and one of the founders of modern California, established the Carmel Mission in 1770, died in 1784 and was buried at the mission, where he lies today. Pope Francis made him a saint in 2015.
Rerig said he made the decision to remove the Serra sculpture due to threats on social media and the rash of nationwide acts of vandalism targeting monuments. He said it will be safely stored until city officials decide to reinstall it.
~ From the Carmel Pine Cone, 23 June 2020