Demonstrators “celebrated” the Fourth of July on Saturday night by yanking a sculpture of Christopher Columbus from its pedestal near Little Italy and throwing it into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
— Tariq Nasheed ?? (@tariqnasheed) July 5, 2020
The statue, dedicated on October 8, 1984 by then-President Ronald Reagan in a special ceremony at the Inner Harbor, commemorated the 15th century Italian explorer who is credited with discovering America.
(video, courtesy the Reagan Library)
Lester Davis, a spokesperson for Democratic Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. Young, said in a statement Saturday night that the torn down statue was part of a “re-examination taking place nationally and globally around some of these monuments and statues that may represent different things to different people.”
Former Maryland state legislator John Pica Jr. told The Baltimore Sun, however, “We are very disappointed with the Baltimore City Police who watched it all happen. We were working with the city for the last two weeks to relocate the statue to a safe place. This was the city’s way of relocating the statue.”
Not in New York State
Similar events were taking place all last month throughout the United States.
In New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a news conference last month that he felt the statue of Christopher Columbus was an important symbol for Italian Americans.
“The Christopher Columbus statue represents in some ways the Italian American legacy in the country, and the Italian American contribution in this country,” Cuomo said on June 12.
“I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts which nobody would support, but the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York so for that reason I support it.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio likewise said he would stand by a January 2018 decision by the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers, which “advocated for keeping the Columbus statue and fostering public dialogue.”