A statue honoring Italian explorer Christopher Columbus may soon be removed from Manhattan’s Columbus Circle if the city’s top elected official has his way.
New York City Mayor Bill Bill de Blasio is reportedly considering the move, according to CBS News, after ordering a review in the wake of the deadly events in Charlotesville, Virginia earlier this month.
The statue, which is over 100 years old, sits atop is a traffic circle in Manhattan, located at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Broadway, Central Park West and Central Park South.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is weighing decision on whether to remove statue of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus
The review, ordered by de Blasio who is running for re-election as a Democrat this November, is part of an effort to remove ‘symbols of hate.’
‘We have to look at everything here,’ de Blasio said during Democratic a mayor debate held Wednesday evening.
Democratic City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito echoed the mayor’s stance, saying the memorial celebrates a disputable historical figure.
‘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,’ CBS reported her as saying Monday.
The statue, which is over 100 years old, is a controversial for some who say the man who is credited with discovering the new world was an active participant in the slave trade
Columbus has been hailed in American-lore as discovering the new world on his expedition in 1492 on behalf on the Spanish empire. But critics note his cruel treatment of the native inhabitants of the Caribbean and South America and his active participation in the slave trade.
The statue was offered as a gift to New York by the city’s Italian community in 1892, and groups such as the NYPD Columbia Association, which includes thousands of Italian American police officers, are fighting to keep the statue in place.
The mayor’s Republican opponent, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, also says the statue should stay put.
‘Even Christopher Columbus, the founder of our nation, is under attack,’ Malliotakis said Wednesday, later clarifying that she misspoke in calling Columbus the founder of the US.