State Court Orders Philadelphia to Remove Box Around Statue of Christopher Columbus
A Pennsylvania court has ordered the City of Philadelphia to remove the plywood box that was built around the statue of Christopher Columbus at Marconi Plaza in the wake of racial justice protests two years ago, writes Eduardo Medina for The New York Times.
In recent years, the 146-year-old marble statue has been a source of heated debate over colonialism and heritage. It is one of the first statues in the United States dedicated to the controversial Italian explorer.
The statue has been especially divisive following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, which ignited protests against racial injustice nationwide and restarted conversations about polarizing landmarks.
Last week, a panel of judges at the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued a ruling that reversed the 2021 decision permitting the city to keep the box surrounding the statue.
Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt wrote in the ruling that the city can express its objection to the “message” of the statue with a plaque.
Kevin Lessard, a spokesman for the city’s mayor, Jim Kenney, said the city administration is “very disappointed with the court’s ruling” but would abide by it.
Read more about the statue in The New York Times.
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