NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The New Haven City Parks Department voted to remove the Christopher Columbus statue from Wooster Square.
New Haven joins New London in a call heard across the nation to take down Columbus statues. A symbol of Italian culture, Columbus has been widely criticized for enslaving indigenous peoples.
The New Haven Parks Department voted unanimously Wednesday evening to take down the statue. The statue that was was erected in 1892 has seen around the clock security over the last week or so. New Haven police have been camped out in front of the statue taking turns watching over it.
We’ve seen similar statues across the state and country either vandalized or taken down in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. After the death of George Floyd last month at the hands of Minneapolis police, those who support the removal say the figure does not represent the Wooster community as a whole.
Whether or not it should be destroyed I don’t think it’s up to me to say, I just know that as a Wooster Square resident someone who really enjoys this park I would just love to be in a place that represents me a bit better.– Onyeka Obiocha/resident
Park Commissioner and President says the removal will be costly but necessary. They say it’s going to be about 60 days before it comes down.
The Parks Department plans on asking the Knights of Columbus if they would like to take the statue. They also plan on working with the Italian American community to see what else they can put in the park to help represent them.