BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — City officials removed a Christopher Columbus statue at Seaside Park in Bridgeport Monday out of an abundance of caution.
The city reports the statue has been placed in storage to preserve it as a historic artifact in response to modern-day sensitivities as well as public safety at large.
This comes after several Columbus statues across the country and the state were vandalized during protests against police brutality and racism or removed from public areas before they could be vandalized.
Columbus was an explorer for Spain in the late 1400s and opened the Americas to colonization by Europe, but he is widely criticized for enslaving the native peoples of the Caribbean islands.
The city said, “Community leaders of all cultures and ethnicities are discussing ways to continue to honor and recognize each other’s heritage within the city of Bridgeport in a way that is peaceful, educational, and supportive to all.”
Mayor Ganim added, “We recognize, value, celebrate and support all cultures and ethnicities in our city and we need continue to do so with respect and understanding.”
Aidee Nieves of the city council said of the removal, “Though we removed the statue, Bridgeport is a diverse community and we must continue to work collaboratively to ensure that all cultures and ethnicities are welcomed and represented by our actions.”
The future of the statue is undetermined at this time.