COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio capital named for Christopher Columbus removed a large statue of him outside its city hall on Wednesday, taking down what the mayor described as a symbol of divisiveness and oppression.
The national outcry in recent weeks over racial injustice has amplified criticism that monuments to the explorer honor a legacy linked to the decimation of indigenous peoples.
Columbus city officials said the statue will be put in storage. Mayor Andrew Ginther has said he’s asked the Columbus Art Commission to help figure out what should replace the statue and to reevaluate related symbolism, such as the city’s seal and flag.
Columbus State Community College also recently removed its statue of the namesake.
Another statue of Columbus remains downtown outside the Ohio Statehouse, a few blocks from the city hall. The board that oversees the property is slated to meet July 16 to consider whether that statue should go, too.