Johnston adopts Christopher Columbus

May 20, 2023 698

BY: Rory Schuler

Scrap metal or monument? Johnston picks the latter. Removed from its Providence pedestal in 2020 and locked away in storage, a 130-year-old statue depicting Christopher Columbus will be re-erected in Johnston’s War Memorial Park in October. In the 1890s, the same French artist who sculpted the Statue of Liberty — Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi — crafted a sterling silver statue of the Italian explorer credited with rediscovering the New World.

Impractical for outdoor exhibition, the silver statue was melted down into 30,000 ounces of scrap silver. However, in an effort to immortalize the work of art, Rhode Islanders created a bronze cast and erected the surviving facsimile in Columbus Park on Elmwood Avenue in Providence.

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