Christopher Columbus statue is toppled, parts tossed into Inner Harbor
Another statue in Baltimore has been taken down as the nation calls for racial equality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Over the weekend protestors forcibly removed the statue of Christopher Columbus and threw it in Inn Harbor. The protest comes after lawmakers wanted to protect and preserve the Columbus statue. Governor Hogan posted a statement Sunday saying the city welcomes peaceful protests but not the destruction of public property.
Parts of the toppled statue were fished out of the Inner Harbor around 8:30 Monday morning. John Pica, a former state senator and an Italian-American from Baltimore, helped organize the effort to recover the marble statue. Located in Columbus Piazza, the sculpture was designed by Mauro Bigarani and commissioned by donations from the Italian American Organization United of Maryland and the Italian American community of Baltimore. The statue was unveiled by then-Mayor William Donald Schaefer and President Ronald Reagan in October 1984.
The Columbus statue stood at the border of Baltimore’s Little Italy and Harbor East neighborhoods until a group brought it down and dumped the broken pieces into the Inner Harbor on the Fourth of July. According to the Baltimore Sun, Pica said Columbus’ importance is still evident in our society, with many municipalities and cities named after him, and that his importance shouldn’t be lost despite the explorer’s racist and violent treatment of nonwhites.
Baltimore Police are being asked to identify and arrest those who tore down the Christopher Columbus statue. Governor Hogan and the House of Delegates Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga criticized city leaders for their lawlessness and lack of action regarding the destruction of the monument. A spokesman from Baltimore Mayor Jack Young is instructing the police commissioner to arrest those involved if they can identify anyone.