Workers remove the historic 20-foot statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus, Ohio
A giant statue of Christopher Columbus was brought down in Columbus, Ohio after Mayor Andrew Ginther claimed it was a symbol of “patriarchy, oppression, and division.”
On Wednesday morning, workers spent three hours removing the monument, which has stood outside City Hall for 65 years and was a gift from the city of Genoa, Italy – the birthplace of Columbus.
Hardhats were spotted on the 20-foot statue shortly after daybreak, before being hoisted onto the back of a truck and taken to a warehouse.
Mayor Ginther’s order to remove the Columbus statue has sparked outrage, especially among members of the city’s Italian community, who say they have been ‘baffled’ by the move.
It is because many statues of historical figures have been removed, toppled and destroyed across the country in recent weeks amid widespread protests calling for the end of systemic racism.
A giant statue of Christopher Columbus has been removed in Columbus, Ohio after Mayor Andrew Ginther claimed it was a symbol of “patriarchy, oppression, and division.”
Hardhats scaling the 20-foot image were seen shortly after dawn, before being hoisted onto the back of a truck and taken to a warehouse
Mayor Ginther’s order to remove the Columbus statue has sparked outrage, especially among members of the city’s Italian community, who say they have been ‘baffled’ by the move
Mayor Ginther announced his intention to remove the statue last week: “For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and division. That does not represent our big city and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past. ‘
“Now is the right time to replace this image with works of art that demonstrate our ongoing struggle to end racism and celebrate the themes of diversity and inclusion.”
He added, “By replacing the image, we are removing another barrier to meaningful and lasting change to end systemic racism.”
According to VOC 8, the mayor has asked “the Columbus Art Commission to initiate a community-led replacement process.”
Workers began the three-hour removal process shortly before dawn, after the statue had to be demolished by Mayor Andrew Ginther
While exploring the coast of Central and South America in the late 15th century, Columbus never set foot in North America.
However, the Italian-born explorer became an important symbol for Italian-Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 20th century, where they faced widespread ethnic and religious persecution.
Joseph Contino, a second-generation Italian-American and PR chairman of the Columbus Piave Club, told FOX 8 that there was “a lot of pride” in the statue outside City Hall.
“There is definitely far too much pride to just throw it away, I mean, you have to ask us our opinion. You cannot just speak for us or speak to us at all. I’m a bit dumbfounded, a little surprised by, “he said.
Meanwhile, other Columbus images have been vandalized and destroyed in cities across the country – with many claiming that the Italian explorer Native American advocates have long expressed concern that Christopher Columbus has spurred genocide against Native American peoples for centuries.
A Columbus was beheaded in Boston’s North End earlier this month
Meanwhile, a monument to the Italian-American explorer in Richmond, Virginia was shot down by activists before it was set on fire and rolled into a lake
A statue of Christopher Columbus is shown vandalized in Bayfront Park in Miami
Last month, a statue of Columbus in Boston was beheaded by protesters.
Meanwhile, a monument to the Italian-American explorer in Richmond, Virginia was knocked down by activists before it was erected fire and rolled it into a lake.
Shocking video showed the crowd cheering at the statue’s destruction.
Columbus statues were also destroyed in Miami and Minnesota.
Meanwhile, NYPD guards have been called on to protect a statue of Columbus in New York City, fearing it will be defaced.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has refused to remove the statue in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle because of its “significance for Italian-Americans.”
The pedestal containing a statue of Christopher Columbus is seen destroyed in Bayfront Park in Miami
In Minnesota, protesters took down a statue of Christopher Columbus outside the State Capitol last month
Who was Christopher Columbus and why was he so divided?
Christopher Columbus, (1451-1506)
Christopher Columbus, (1451 – 1506) born in the Republic of Genoa (now Italy), was a 15th century navigator who began European raids on America. Native American activists believe the navigator was responsible for centuries of Native Genocide.
Like Aristotle and others, Columbus believed that the world was round. He theorized that the distance between the Spanish Canary Islands and Japan was only about 2,300 miles (3,701 kilometers) and felt he could sail west to reach Asia for a new sought-after route for spices. It really was about 12,000 miles (19,321 kilometers). Columbus based his incorrect calculations on mystical texts and ended up in the present Caribbean on October 12, 1492.
Columbus convinced Spanish Queen Isabella to fund his trip by promising that the wealth he would accumulate would be used to fund a crusade to “reclaim” Jerusalem for Christians. Instead, he found new food, animals, and native people that he wrote were childlike and easily turned into slaves.
While the indigenous people rebelled against the brutal Spanish treatment, Columbus ordered a brutal crackdown, which included publicly parading the shredded bodies. Eventually, Columbus was arrested on charges of maladministration and brutality, and died soon after.
About 60 years after Columbus’s arrival, the native people of the Caribbean in Taino had been reduced from an estimated 250,000 to a few hundred as a result of slavery and death from new diseases.
But for many Italian Americans, the Italian explorer remains an important symbol in their heritage.
Millions of Italian immigrants traveled across the Atlantic to Ellis Island in New York to start a new life in America in the late 1880s to 1920s.
They faced xenophobia and prejudice, including one of the largest mass lynchings in American history when 11 were murdered in New Orleans in 1891.
The Italian explorer thereby became a cultural hero for Italian immigrants to hold during this time, and Columbus Day pageants began in the late 1800s.