Controversial Columbus statue may go back up
The city is considering reinstalling a controversial statue of Christopher Columbus that once stood in front of City Hall.
Driving the news: Legislation up for a vote tonight would start the process of placing the statue in a "new public location."
- The city plans to pay a local design firm $253,000 to hold public meetings and eventually develop "contextual materials" that would accompany the statue.
Why it matters: The effort shows the city of Columbus' continued reckoning with the violent and racist history of its infamous namesake.
State of play: The city removed the statue in 2020 amid racial justice protests and renewed attention toward the explorer's treatment of Indigenous people in the Americas.
- Another statue was taken down on the campus of Columbus State Community College, while a third still stands at the Ohio Statehouse.
What they said: "For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness," Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a June 2020 statement announcing the statue's removal.
- "That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past."
The other side: The removal came with criticism — in a since-deleted tweet, Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel filmed a campaign video while standing atop the empty statue pedestal late last year.
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