New York City should not reconsider the committee’s decision to maintain a statue of Christopher Columbus near Central Park, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Friday.
“The commission has done a really careful and extensive job. Really good, dedicated people who care about understanding the whole history and care about social justice and have come up with a vision of how to solve it. I think we should stick to what that commission has achieved,” he said. is de Blasio.
Asked if he was worried about the residents taking matters into their own hands, de Blasio said, “the important thing is that we as a city have to go on so many fronts”, and set the city’s priorities: keep people safe, get people back live and deal with police reform.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo defended the statue yesterday by saying it represents the “Italian-American contribution to New York.”
What is it about: In January 2018, the mayor’s advisory committee on urban art, monuments and markers recommended that the city keep the monument in place and take additional measures to promote public dialogue on the polarizing figure.
“The Commission believes that when the monument in question initiates a polarization debate, the City should facilitate greater public dialogue through a series of actions and then revalue the situation after a certain period of time,” the Commission said in its report to the city.
These additional actions included ordering new monuments “for groups left behind,” temporary works of art in response to the heritage and history represented by Christopher Columbus, and the annual Indigenous Peoples Day recognition.
As Confederate statues descend across the country, some of them Columbus was also dismantled. Columbus has long been a controversial figure in history because of his treatment of the indigenous communities he encountered and because of his role in violent colonization at their expense.