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Two Removed Christopher Columbus Statues Still in Hiding

(The Columbus Dispatch) Sixty-six years ago, Landa Masdea Brunetto’s father and grandfather hurriedly worked through the night in the family’s machine shop to fabricate specialty bolts and washers unexpectedly needed by the next day to erect the newly arrived statue of Christopher Columbus outside Columbus City Hall.

“My dad and grandfather literally stayed up all night,” Masdea Brunetto said.

To members of the city’s Italian community, the 7,000-pound bronze gift from the residents of Genoa, Italy, Columbus’ sister city, was more than just a statue of the city’s namesake…

Mayor Andrew J. Ginther rushed the statue’s removal into exile in July 2020

A month earlier, Columbus State University announced first it was removing its Christopher Columbus statue at its Downtown campus. In a written statement, Columbus State President David Harrison called the decision “a symbolic gesture of our commitment to our college community to continue and accelerate the fight against systemic racism.”

As a second Columbus Day passes today (Oct. 11) without the two statues, some in the Columbus Italian community want the city to either reinstall the statue or give it to community groups instrumental in bringing it here in 1955

When Ginther announced that the city’s statue would come down, he said that for many people it represented “patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past.”

As for the the two-story tall Columbus State statue, its fate also remains up in the air. That massive, 20-ton stone work, after the bottom was covered in graffiti by protesters last year, was moved to an undisclosed offsite-storage site, paid for by a private donor, said Brent Wilder, a spokesman for the Downtown community college.

The Columbus State statue was created by sculptor Alfred Solani in 1959, and was first installed in an Illinois park before being moved to Columbus State. At the time, the college paid $25,000 to build a pedestal and $25,000 to repair and restore it, according to Dispatch archives.

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