New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a more than 100-year-old statue of Italian-born explorer Christopher Columbus by sculptor Gaetano Russo could be removed from the middle of Columbus Circle in Manhattan in a review of “symbols of hate.”
The review comes after white nationalists and counter protesters fought in a deadly clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this month over the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The incident sparked a nationwide conversation on race as well as the removal of Confederate monuments in a number of cities including New York and Baltimore.
De Blasio, who is running for re-election in November, said during the Democratic mayoral debate on Wednesday night that the Columbus statue is one of the city’s artifacts under review in the push to remove so-called symbols of hate.
“We have to look at everything here,” de Blasio said, according to CBS News.
On Monday, de Blasio’s Democratic ally and New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, called for the removal of the statue which was gifted to the city by a group of Italian Americans in 1892.
“I will wait for the commission. As I said, Christopher Columbus is a controversial figure to many of us, particularly in the Caribbean, and I think that that has to be looked at. When you have to look at history we have to look at it thoroughly and clearly,” she said.
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Source: Christian Post