NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of Norwich is looking to make a change to its Italian heritage monument that has Christopher Columbus’s image on it.
The Norwich Italian Heritage & Cultural Community announced Wednesday it has made the decision to “eliminate the carving of Columbus on the monument and replace it with a statement honoring the Italian Immigrants who settled in Norwich and contributed to making our community in its place.”
This comes after monuments honoring Columbus were vandalized across the state and the country following the death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests against police brutality and racism.
“It’s about our family. It’s not about Christopher Columbus and we’re not here to offend anybody,” said Arturo Montorsi, President of the United Men Italian Society.
Which is why the Italian Heritage Cultural Committee is making such a bold statement.
“We decided to be proactive. We didn’t want to go to the extremes that we’ve seen all around,” added President of the Italian Heritage Cultural Committee, Frank Jacarusso. “It’s not about Christopher Columbus. It’s about our parents and grandparents. They had to go through all of what you just said and I don’t like bigotry or violence no matter what race, color, or creed you are.”
Norwich will follow New Haven and New London in removing or altering their city’s Columbus monument.
Ahead of any change in Norwich, Columbus’ image will be covered up until the recommission, planned for September 2020.
The monument stands near Chelsea Parade and Norwich Free Academy and was put up in the 1990s.
“You have to talk people to people. We are a diverse society in the united states,” said Jacarusso.