COLUMBUS, Ohio – Crews early Wednesday removed the statue of Christopher Columbus from in front of Columbus City Hall.
Shortly before 6:30 a.m. local time, the statue was lifted off its pedestal and rotated to face City Hall. Within an hour, the statue had been placed onto a flatbed truck and taken away from the area.
According to a press release issued by the city Wednesday morning, Smoot Construction was involved in moving the statue, which “will be placed in safekeeping at a secure city facility.”
Last month, Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said he wanted to see the statue removed from City Hall.
The decision was hailed by groups that say Columbus statues depict the explorer’s genocidal cleansing of the New World and exploitation of Native people, and opposed by Italian-Americans who say the statues are works of art that forge goodwill and should be preserved.
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Ginther has called on the Columbus Art Commission to lead an effort to replace the statue with public artwork that better reflects the people of Columbus and offers a shared vision for the future.
The statue, which was a gift to Columbus from its sister city of Genoa, Italy, was placed at City Hall in 1955.
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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Christopher Columbus statue removed from Columbus City Hall in Ohio