Ohio capital removes statue of namesake Christopher Columbus

There has long been debate across the nation over the explorer’s legacy.


A statue of Christopher Columbus in front of City Hall in Columbus has been removed.

The statue will be placed in storage as monuments to Confederates and other historical figures who repressed or oppressed other people are being dismantled across the country.

“For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness." Democratic Mayor Andrew Ginther said in a release. “That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past.”

There has long been debate across the nation over the explorer’s legacy, with some calling him a symbol of the conquest and subjugation of indigenous people. Columbus, Ohio's capital, quietly canceled its Columbus Day holiday beginning in 2018.

The removal of such monuments follows weeks of global protests over the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25.

Columbus State Community College also announced it will remove the statue of Columbus that has been displayed on its downtown campus since 1988.

“We do not seek to erase history, but to make an intentional shift in what we visibly honor and celebrate as an institution," Columbus State Board of Trustees President Anthony Joseph said.

Ginther said he asked the Columbus Art Commission to launch a process that will help determine how to best replace the statue as well as reevaluate existing monuments and symbols in the city, including the city's seal and flag.

“By replacing the statue, we are removing one more barrier to meaningful and lasting change to end systemic racism,” said Ginther. “Its removal will allow us to remain focused on critical police reforms and increasing equity in housing, health outcomes, education and employment.”