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Christopher Columbus statue still in storage after being removed in 2020

Christopher Columbus statue in front of Columbus City Hall.
file photo
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WOSU
The Christopher Columbus statue in front of Columbus City Hall was removed in 2020.

While many around the country are celebrating Columbus Day in honor of Christopher Columbus, city officials here are still grappling with what to do with a statute of the explorer.

Celebrating Columbus with both the holiday and statues of his likeness has fallen out of favor with some because of his treatment of indigenous people after crossing the Atlantic ocean.

The statue of the Italian explorer was removed from the grounds of Columbus City Hall on July 1, 2020, following public outcry during the protests after the death of George Floyd.

“Columbus is the name of our city and we're proud of our city and our community. This statue does not define who we are as a people, who we are as a city, We are a smart, open, very diverse city and we need to make sure [...] that we're telling our full and accurate history”, said Mayor Ginther, while at a press conference discussing the upcoming elections ballot issues

Mayor Ginther says a committee is now studying what should happen next. He says they simply need more time.

“We think it's critically important that we offer the whole context and that our history is accurate, inclusive, and complete and so that committee will be making recommendations to us. The statue is safe in storage right now, “ he said.

The statue was a gift from the citizens of Genoa, Italy. Some states, including Ohio, California and Maine, have proposed legislation to legally replace the holiday, but so far none have passed.

Williams was a reporter for WOSU. Natasha is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and has more than 20 years of television news and radio experience.