The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, announced Thursday that the city will be removing the Christopher Columbus statue that stands in front of City Hall and replace it with a new piece of art that better represents what the city and its people embody.
"For many people in our community, the statue represents patriarchy, oppression and divisiveness. That does not represent our great city, and we will no longer live in the shadow of our ugly past," Mayor Andrew Ginther said. "Now is the right time to replace this statue with artwork that demonstrates our enduring fight to end racism and celebrate the themes of diversity and inclusion."
The decision was praised by several groups that say Columbus statues are "a symbol of oppression and racism," USA Today reported.
There are plans to remove two additional Christopher Columbus statues — one outside Columbus State Community College and the other at the Statehouse.
Kevin Truitt — an attorney with the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which has supported several of the Black Lives Matter protests — said the removal of the statue is "a great first step."
"Having this monument to this man is troubling to many, especially indigenous people," Truitt said. "The protests have just started so many great things happening here in Columbus."