NY Gov. Cuomo Speaks Up for Keeping Columbus Statue in NYC

The governor said he's not disputing that the explorer did harm to indigenous people.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he favors keeping the prominent Christopher Columbus statue at Columbus Circle.

The statue has been suggested for review by a commission examining items deemed "symbols of hate" on New York City property.

Cuomo said Monday he's not disputing that the explorer did harm to indigenous people. But the Democratic governor and grandchildren of Italian immigrants says the statue at Manhattan's Columbus Circle "is really about honoring Italian-Americans" and their contributions to New York.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced the commission, which could recommend removing some monuments. Democratic City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has said the Columbus statue should be evaluated.

The Italian-American mayor hasn't opined, saying he wants to let the commission work. He's noted that statues could end up getting reviewed and remaining.

Meanwhile, two Christopher Columbus statues were vandalized in New York last week.

Int the most recent incident last Thursday, blue paint had been sprayed on the base of the statue in Columbus Triangle, Astoria. The vandals had used stencils to spray the words "Don't honor genocide, take it down." 

A day earlier, Christopher Columbus' head was found torn off a statue of him in Columbus Memorial Park, a mile north of the Bronx.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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