Worcester’s Columbus statue to stay put after city council vote

Worcester’s Columbus statue to stay put after city council vote

WORCESTER, Mass. — The Christopher Columbus statue in the second largest city in Massachusetts, which was splashed with red paint last month, is staying put for now.

The Worcester City Council voted 8-2 Tuesday to “file” a proposal by one councilor that called on the city manager to work with the local Italian American community to remove the statue and replace it with an appropriate statue or memorial to honor the contributions of Worcester’s Italian community.

The council’s vote to file effectively put the order in the parliamentary wastebasket, ending debate and further action on it, The Telegram & Gazette reports.

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Councilor Sarai Rivera called for the removal of the statue because of atrocities committed against the Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and Central America.

Councilor Candy Mero-Carlson, who is of Italian ancestry, said it is not the city’s place to tell a group that a statue representing its heritage has to come down.

The Worcester statue was a gift to the city in 1978 by a local Italian American attorney in memory of his wife.

Columbus statues around the country as well as other monuments with racist connections have been targeted by protesters speaking out against police brutality and seeking racial justice.