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Columbus Common Council votes to remove Christopher Columbus statue

The Columbus Common Council has voted 4-1 to remove a controversial statue of Christopher Columbus, the explorer the city is named after.
A 15-year-old created a petition to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus, WI.
A 15-year-old created a petition to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus, WI.((WMTV/Michelle Baik))
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 8:11 PM CDT
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COLUMBUS, Wis. (WMTV) - The Columbus Common Council has voted 4-1 to remove a controversial statue of Christopher Columbus, the explorer the city is named after.

The statue will now be moved into temporary storage. Eventually the statue will be used for educational purposes.

Resident Abigail Adams started a petition to remove the statue after being inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The petition argued that the statue, at its current location at Highway 16 and Highway 151, does not provide any context for Columbus’ now controversial actions after landing in the Americas.

“There is nothing here telling the history of how he enslaved thousands of Native Americans,” she said. “There’s nothing here saying he set a precedent for how European colonizers would treat the Native American populations for hundreds of years to come.”

Describing Columbus as a “villain,” Adams says with statues of other “racist historical figures” being removed around the country that her city should do the same with its Columbus statue. She did acknowledge everyone in the community is not onboard with her plan.

“A lot of people think that what I’m trying to do here is erase our history, trying to take away a piece of the city of Columbus,” she said, adding that was not what she was trying to do.

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