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Christopher Columbus Statue Surrounded By Fence On LA's First Indigenous Peoples Day

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A statue of Christopher Columbus was covered up Monday just as the first Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles got underway.

That statue is located in downtown Los Angeles' Grand Park, in front of an entrance to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse off Hill Street. A white cover was placed over the sculpture of Christopher Columbus and the block it stands on, and a chain-link fence erected around it.

City officials did not say they were going to cover up the statue, but Christopher Columbus monuments in other cities like New York have been defaced.

The cover was removed later Monday morning, but the chain-link fence remained.

The Los Angeles City Council voted in August to rename Columbus Day – a federal holiday for more than 80 years – to Indigenous Peoples Day, but it has until 2019 to officially create the new holiday while it drafts and creates a new ordinance.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted this week to eliminate all references to Columbus Day as a county holiday, designating Oct. 12 as Italian American Heritage Day and creating a new Indigenous Peoples Day.

Indigenous Peoples Day will fall on the second Monday of October in Los Angeles County, beginning no later than 2019.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell will celebrate the new holiday with students at the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts and at an event at UCLA's Fowler Museum.

The event in Los Feliz is not open to the public. The event at UCLA -- which is open to the public and scheduled to begin at 5 p.m -- is where O'Farrell plans to present official certificates of appreciation to members of the L.A. City-County Native American Commission.

O'Farrell, who is a member of the Wyandotte Native American Tribe, led the drive on the City Council to replace Columbus Day and successfully argued that the explorer's connection to brutality and slavery makes him unworthy of celebration.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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