Christopher Columbus statue in Providence vandalized for second time this year
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) - The Christopher Columbus statue in Providence's Elmwood neighborhood has been vandalized again.
Red paint was found early Monday morning splashed on the pedestal of the statue that sits at the intersection of Elmwood Avenue and Reservoir Avenue. It was quickly cleaned up by city workers.
On the eve of Columbus Day, the statue was vandalized with red paint and a sign rining "stop celebrating genocide".
This marks the second vandalism at the statue in six weeks.
"In today's world, we look at events that took place 500 years ago and then we judge those events based on 2019."
Don Angelo, past president of the Sons and Daughters of Italy, wants the statue moved to Federal Hill.
"Why not allow more and more people to view a work of art?"
But, Angelo has some competition. Cranston Mayor Allan Fung tweeted Monday, saying the city's Knightsville neighborhood has a safe spot for it.
Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena responded to Mayor Fung's comment, saying "I'm a lot stronger than he is!"
Mayor Polisena wants to see the statue moved to Johnston. His argument is that his town has the highest population of Italian-Americans in the state of Rhode Island.
"If it doesn't stay in Providence, it belongs in Johnston."
Polisena said the statue, if in Johnston, would be under lights and would have security cameras watching it.
"Shame on those cowards that do that, but I can tell you if it comes to Johnston you'll see it'll be handled a lot differently," said Polisena.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza isn't letting go of the statue just yet. He told ABC6 Monday that this is a teaching moment, and he's bringing in a historian to help people understand what the statue really means.
"Unless this issue is resolved, people are going to, wherever it's at, people are going to find ways to vandalize it, and that's not what anybody wants."
Mayor Elorza and the Providence City Council have proposed a seven-person committee that would review all historic monuments and memorials in the city. If approved, the committee would meet twice a year.