Columbus statue to stay

NYC Says Controversial Columbus Statue Will Stay

The most contentious of the monuments under review was the Christopher Columbus statue that anchors the Columbus Circle roundabout on the southwestern corner of Central Park. "Reckoning with our collective histories is a complicated undertaking with no easy solution".

Last year, de Blasio set up a commission to review the city's statues and monuments amid violence stemming from a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

The city will also relocate the statue of J. Marion Sims, a 19th century doctor who has been called the "father of modern gynecology", to Green-Wood Cemetery and maintained it is taking several steps to inform the public of the statue's origin and historical context, including the legacy of non-consensual medical experimentation on black women and women of color in general that Sims has come to represent.

Some Staten Island politicians celebrated the news, while others lamented over the commission, which they believe was a waste of taxpayer money.

The most high-profile statue considered for removal, that of Christopher Columbus, in Columbus Circle, will remain in place, albeit with new historical markers explaining Columbus' history.

"It is now time to focus all our energies on the real issues impacting the lives of New Yorkers". "This is a great day for Italian-Americans".

Leaders Call for Central Park Statue to Come Down
Leaders Call for Central Park Statue to Come Down

Although Cantave and other opposed to the Columbus statue were defeated, the city said that it plans to put up new historical markers in and around Columbus Circle to "continue the public discourse". City Hall sources told NBC 4 NY that out of the thousands of surveys and responses submitted to the commission, not one asked to keep the statue of Sims. "Taking down the statue would not change history".

The mayor also said the city will commit up to $10 million to create new works of public art "honoring various communities that are underrepresented on city property". Berkeley, Calif., was the first city to replace Columbus Day.

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Staten Island, Brooklyn, ) who unsuccessfully challenged de Blasio past year, called the city's decision "a victory for Italian-Americans and those who appreciate his contributions and recognize the explorer represents the immigrant experience".

A fourth monument, that of Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History, was also weighed in on by the commission, which suggested keeping the monument in place and partnering with the museum to provide additional context on-site through signage and education programming.

The 18-member commission included entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, World Trade Center memorial designer Michael Arad, Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, and other academics, artists and writers.

"I was proud to be at the tip of the spear in this fight against revisionist history, political correctness, and the denigration of an icon chosen by an immigrant group that gave so much to this city, state, and nation". Where's the sensitivity? I thought we were progressive.

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