Monument To Christopher Columbus Vandalized

Baltimore's Christopher Columbus Monument

On Tuesday morning, Assemblyman Ron Castorina held a press conference near the statue of Columbus, who Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called a "controversial figure" that should be considered for removal.

A video uploaded to YouTube shows a local activist, who identifies himself as "Ty", smashing the plaque on the Christopher Columbus Obelisk just off Harford Road in Northeast Baltimore.

She made the remarks while advocating for the removal of a different statue - of controversial Dr. J. Marion Sims - at 103rd street and 5th Avenue. To others, he is a destroyer of Native American people and culture.

"I would definitely encourage them to take a look at that one as well", Mark-Viverito said when asked about the towering statue of Columbus - a gift from Italian Americans to the city in 1892.

"There are still to this day conversations happening because of the monuments, other Columbus statues, being talked about", Mark-Viverito said yesterday, according to ABC.

In recent years, activists have pushed back against Columbus Day, pointing to the mass killings of the indigenous people and eventual colonization of the Americas after the explorer "discovered" the continents.

Pedestal of a Confederate Monument in Baltimore
Pedestal where the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument stood in Baltimore before it was removed

Mayor Bill de Blasio shed some light Tuesday on the city's efforts to address growing concern over controversial statues and memorials throughout NY. "We have to look at history, we have to look at it thoroughly and clearly, and he is a controversial figure".

On Monday, de Blasio told reporters that he would not comment on any specific statue but acknowledged that the Sims statue is among the ones that will be examined.

"The Columbus statue is obviously one that will get very immediate attention because there's been tremendous concern raised about it", Ben Sarle, a mayoral spokesman, wrote in an emailed statement.

In 2013, de Blasio, who is of Italian heritage, said that there are "some troubling things" in Columbus's history.

The mayor said the group would come up with a "universal standard" for the city to honor people in the future, the Post reported.

De Blasio said the commission will weigh the facts and consider input from New Yorkers as well as stakeholders involved with the memorials in question. "We're going to look at all statues and monuments that in any way may suggest hate or division or racism, anti-Semitism - any kind of message that is against the values of New York City".


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