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Metal cross replaces vandalized monument in Monterey

A metal cross was installed at Del Monte Beach, replacing a historical monument that was vandalized several years ago.

The Portola-Crespi monument was a 20-foot redwood cross that marked the spot where Spanish explorers are believed to have arrived in 1769. It was a replica of the cross erected there over 200 years ago, installed in 1969 by Monterey for the city’s 200th birthday.

In 2009, the wooden cross was cut down with a power saw by vandals.

After the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in to argue against restoring a religious symbol on public property, the city gave the cross a new home at the San Carlos Cemetery in Monterey.

Seaside resident Janel Spruell remembers the wooden cross well.

“Growing up, I remember as a kid there was a huge wooden statue erected here and I know there was controversy in the past and it was…

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