Philadelphia city officials say they will seek to have the Christopher Columbus statue removed from Marconi Plaza in South Philadelphia.

The statue has become the location of brawls between supporters and protesters in recent weeks. Some have even guarded the statue bearing armed weapons. Both groups have clashed a few times in recent days given Columbus’ controversial history.

“Christopher Columbus became a symbol of Italian communities' contributions to U.S. history, but scholars and historians have uncovered first-hand documentation establishing that his arrival in the Americas also marked the beginning of the displacement and genocide of Indigenous people,” the city said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

The city says it will ask the Philadelphia Art Commission to approve the removal of the statue on Wednesday, July 21.

In the meantime, they’re allowing the public to share their input before July 21. You can do so by clicking here. There are five open-ended questions on that survey asking for the public to share their thoughts.

The statue was covered earlier this month as the city said they'd work with all parties involved to make a decision regarding the fate of the statue at a later date.

Tensions, however, in the South Philadelphia park have continued to escalate.
“In recent weeks, clashes between those individuals who support the statue of Christopher Columbus in Marconi Plaza and those who are distressed by its existence have deteriorated to a concerning public safety situation,” the city says. “It is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue.”

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