Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says his administration will reassess the significance of a Christopher Columbus statue after it was found beheaded Wednesday morning.
Police said the head of the statue, located in a waterfront park near the city’s traditionally Italian North End, was found on the ground at about 12:30 a.m. And there is an open investigation at this time, and no word on any arrests.
At a news conference Wednesday, Walsh said the statue will be taken down and placed in storage for the time being.
“That said, this particular statue has been subject to repeated vandalism here in Boston, and given the conversations that we’re certainly having right now in our city of Boston and throughout the country, we’re also going to take time to assess the historic meaning of this action,” he told reporters.
As to whether the statue will be returned to the park, Walsh said, “We’re going to have conversations at some point.”
The statue was splashed with red paint in June 2015 with the words “Black Lives Matter” spray-painted on the base. And in 2006, its head went missing only to be found six days later.
Statues with racist connections have been targeted by protesters around the world speaking out against police brutality.
A Columbus statue in Richmond, Virginia was toppled and thrown into a lake on Tuesday night.
Statues of Columbus across the nation are often vandalized on Columbus Day in October as the 15th century explorer has become a polarizing figure.
Native American advocates have pressed states to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day over concerns that Columbus spurred centuries of genocide against indigenous populations in the Americas.
Boston’s Italian marble statue is 6-feet tall on a 5-foot pedestal. It was installed in what is now known as Christopher Columbus Park in 1979.
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