Councilor introduces resolution opposing relocation of Columbus statue


Vandals damaged the Christopher Columbus statue in Providence. Photo: James Pilkington | WPRI 12

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The debate over whether or not to move a statue of Christopher Columbus out of Providence’s Elmwood neighborhood continued Thursday evening after a city councilor introduced a resolution to prevent it from being relocated.

Councilman James Taylor, D-Ward 8, said the statue was a gift to the Elmwood Neighborhood Association and is a “steadfast reminder of Elmwood’s past and prosperity.”

At Thursday night’s City Council meeting, Taylor introduced a resolution opposing the relocation of the statue without input from residents of the Elmwood neighborhood.

Discussion of moving the statue began after vandals targeted it on Columbus Day. The statue was splashed with red paint and a sign was placed at its base that read: “Stop Celebrating Genocide.”

Don Angelo with the Sons and Daughters of Italy in America argued the statue should be moved to Federal Hill – and Mayor Jorge Elorza said he wouldn’t be opposed to relocating it to another neighborhood.

Councilwoman Katherine Kerwin previously argued that the statue should be removed from the city completely, and supported the sentiment of the vandals.

The City Council referred Taylor’s resolution to committee for consideration.

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