The Korean War can lay claim, along with World War One, to being the United States’ “forgotten war.” Perhaps this is because it was, in a sense, inconclusive. At the…
Thousands of Minnesotans petition the state to return his statue to the Capitol.
A committee of Minnesota residents and public officials will finalize a process this year that will determine Christopher Columbus’s return to the Capitol, because the statue was illegally torn down last summer.
Paul Mandell, executive secretary of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board, said a task force is revising its rules to include removal procedures for commemorative pieces such as the bronze statue of Columbus. The key will be defining and refining the draft language, especially the part that reads “sustained, overwhelming and documented public objection” is required for the removal of Columbus and anything similar. Quantity of signatures is likely to be a big part of the discussion.
“From our standpoint, Columbus has not been taken down,” he says, so there will need to be an application and approval for this to become official.
The bronze statue was torn down on June 10, 2020, during an American Indian Movement (AIM) protest, part of a statewide and nationwide trend of denouncing historical figures as racist or oppressive. Center of the American Experiment responded with a campaign that collected 4,755 signatures demanding the return of the explorer’s likeness. This led to the realization that there is no process in place for the removal of statues, only for the addition of them.
Should the removal never become official, the legislature will have to find $154,000 to repair the Columbus statue and put it back in its rightful place. A bill to return Columbus to his granite perch passed the Minnesota Senate but died in budget negotiations.
The 10-foot statue, built by Italian American Carlo Brioschi, was erected in 1931.