Jul 25, 2022 - News

Controversial Columbus statue may go back up

Protesters stand at the base of a Christopher Columbus statue.
Protesters stand at the base of a Christopher Columbus statue at Columbus City Hall that was removed in mid-2020. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

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.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Columbus.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Columbus stories

No stories could be found

Columbuspostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Columbus.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more