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Mayor has Christopher Columbus statues removed from Chicago parks overnight


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Gregory Pratt, Peter Nickeas and Armando L. Sanchez

July 24 2020

CHICAGO — Hoping to avoid another high-profile confrontation between police and protesters like the clash that happened last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the statues of Christopher Columbus removed from Chicago’s Grant and Arrigo parks overnight.

Not all Italian American leaders in Chicago are on board with the decision, but it has received the blessing of some groups, sources said. By taking the statues down, Lightfoot may draw criticism from those who believe she caved to activist demands.


Lightfoot’s abrupt move in the dark of night was an about-face for the mayor, who has opposed taking down statues of the Italian explorer on the grounds that it would be erasing history. The mayor’s office statement Friday morning said that the city would soon announce “a formal process to assess each of the monuments, memorials, and murals across Chicago’s communities, and develop a framework for creating a public dialogue to determine how we elevate our city’s history and diversity.”

Crews arrived at Grant Park sometime around 1 a.m. and began the process of bringing down the monument honoring Columbus a little afterward. A couple dozen people cheered from across the street and passing cars honked as the statue came down at about 3 a.m. Friday morning.




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