Mayor Lightfoot has ordered both statues to be temporarily removed from Grant Park and Arrigo Park.
The Columbus statues in Grant Park and Little Italy were removed in the early hours of Friday, July 24, by order of Mayor Lightfoot. Crews were seen arriving at the Grant Park memorial around 1 am on Friday, July 24, to remove the monument honoring Columbus. The one at Little Italy’s Arrigo Park was removed a few hours later.
In a statement released later on Friday morning, the mayor declared she had both statues “temporarily removed … until further notice.”
“This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols,” she continued. “In addition, our public safety resources must be concentrated where they are most needed throughout the city.”
Earlier on Thursday evening, crowds gathered near Lightfoot’s Logan Square residence to celebrate the removal of the statues after the Tribune first reported news of the mayor’s plans to remove the Grant Park statue.
In her statement, the mayor also said her decision to take down both statues was not about “a single statue or mural, but how we create a platform to channel our city’s dynamic civic energy to collaboratively, purposefully and peacefully reflect our values as Chicagoans.” She also stated the city would be announcing how it will reassess Chicago’s monuments “and develop a framework for creating a public dialogue to determine how we elevate our city’s history and diversity.”
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