Pop Goes The News – The Bank of Montreal quietly removed the first of two controversial engravings from the front of its historic building in Old Montreal on Monday afternoon.
The French plaque was taken down by a two-man crew from contractor St-Denis Thompson and wheeled inside the building.
The English version, which appears to the left, is set to be removed Tuesday. It reads: “Near this square afterwards named La Place d’Armes the founders of Ville-Marie first encountered the Iroquois whom they defeated. Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve killing the chief with his own hands. March 1644.”
Many Indigenous people have complained about the plaques over the past several years. They claim they were derogatory and lacking context because the Iroquois were defending their territory.
Last July, BMO sought approval from the Quebec Ministry of Culture to remove the plaques – which were engraved on the building before the bank bought it in 1983 – because the building has heritage designation.
UPDATE: By the afternoon of Aug. 14, both inscribed stones had been replaced. The English one now reads: “Near this square afterwards named La Place D’Armes the founders of Ville-Marie first encountered the Iroquois whom they defeated in March 1644.”
Below: Two workers move the French version of the engraved stone into the building.