Connecticut Voters Support Restoration of Columbus Statue

Nov 09, 2020 337

Angelo Vivolo, president of the Christopher Heritage Coalition, hailed the voters of Waterbury, Conn., who voted overwhelmingly on Election Day to keep the statue of Christopher Columbus on the front lawn of Waterbury's City Hall. The referendum results showed that nearly 60% of 27,957 votes favored keeping the statue in place.

"We know that Columbus was a great explorer for Spain whose legacy has been twisted and misrepresented into a biased and distorted view of Hispanic and Latino culture," said Vivolo. "The voters of Waterbury have now spoken loudly for fairness and accuracy. Their message is clear: Drop the hate. Seek the truth."

In the pre-dawn darkness of July 4, the head of the statue was smashed to the ground. A portion of the head was recovered that morning. The headless statue has remained in place while the city set forth plans to put the statue's fate on the ballot.

Waterbury Mayor Neil M. O" Leary told the Waterbury Republican American: "I think now we should sit down as a community and see what the next steps are. Obviously, we have to repair the statue and see if we can't talk to the community that voted against keeping Columbus to see if we can't come to some common ground here."

The Columbus Heritage Coalition, which represents more than 50 member organizations with approximately 20,000 members, has waged a nationwide battle to preserve Columbus statues.

"For millions of Italian American immigrants and their descendants, the statues of Christopher Columbus is a deep-rooted public expression of pride, culture, and identity passed from generation to generation," said Vivolo. "The recent attacks and the hateful defilement of Columbus and other statues are not mere acts of vandalism. These are hate crimes. They are hurtful to those who express their pride in their culture and the accomplishments of their forebears."

The Waterbury chapter of Unico, an Italian-American service group, is raising money for repairs. Unico donated the statue to the city of Waterbury in 1984.


SOURCE: Columbus Heritage Coalition

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