Around New England

Boston Mayor Responds To Vandalism of Christopher Columbus Statue By Taking It Down

June 10, 2020

A statue of Christopher Columbus that was beheaded around midnight Tuesday will be taken down and put into storage and possibly never brought back, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Wednesday.

The large white statue is a focal point of Christopher Columbus Park on the waterfront of the North End, the city’s most famous Italian neighborhood.

Walsh was asked about the statue during a press conference Wednesday, June 10.

“Certainly we don’t condone any vandalism here in the city of Boston, and that needs to stop,” Walsh said.

But the statue may be getting the hook permanently.

“We’re going to be taking the statue down this morning, putting it into storage to assess the damage of the statue,” Walsh said. “This particular statue has been subject to repeated vandalism here in Boston. And given the conversations that we’re certainly having right now in our city of Boston and throughout the country, we’re also going to take time to assess the historic meaning of the statue. So, I’m going to — I’ll leave it with that.”

The statue has been vandalized several times this century – most notably in June 2015, when red paint was thrown over the top and the words “Black Lives Matter” spray painted on its base.

At the time, the founder of Black Lives Matter Boston said the group wasn’t behind the vandalism but endorsed it, according to Boston magazine.

At the time seven years ago, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department issued a statement, according to WBZ-TV Channel 4:

 “The Parks Department has hundreds of statues and monuments throughout our 331 properties.  As soon as one is damaged or has graffiti, the Parks Department responds immediately to try to clean and/or repair it as we did at Christopher Columbus Park this morning. We ask that all park users continue to show respect for these important historical markings.”

 

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