Christopher Columbus Statue Removed From Columbus City Hall
The Christopher Columbus statue that stood outside City Hall for more than 60 years stands no more.
With City Hall still lit up rainbow for Pride Month behind them, crews worked early Wednesday morning to dismantle the statue, which was a gift from the city of Genoa, Italy in 1955. The statue was loaded onto a trailer and driven out of downtown around 7:20 a.m. to an undisclosed location.
Mayor Andrew Ginther vowed to remove the statue during recent protests over racial inequality that followed the Minneapolis Police killing of George Floyd. Ginther says the statue will be replaced with something more representative of the people of Columbus.
“For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past,” Ginther said in a June 18 statement. “Now is the right time to replace this statue with artwork that demonstrates our enduring fight to end racism and celebrate the themes of diversity and inclusion.”
Ginther also requested all public art in the city be reviewed for diversity and inclusion - including a reexamination of the city seal and flag, both of which include depictions of Columbus' ship.
Another statue of the Italian explorer, whose actions ushered in the genocide and oppression of Indigenous people, was recently removed from the Columbus State Community College campus.
A third Columbus statue on the Ohio Statehouse grounds still stands, but Gov. Mike DeWine has said he's not in favor of removing it. The board that oversees those grounds is set to meet later this month to consider the issue.
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