New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says a controversial Columbus statue should stay, “The statue is really not about Columbus; it’s about the Italian-American heritage, and I think that deserves to be celebrated.”
The statue’s possible removal from Columbus circle is being mulled over. NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio has not called for the outright removal of the statue but is leaving it up to a commission to review the appropriateness of statues and monuments on city property.
CBS New York is reporting, the governor says he doesn’t think it should be taken down:
“The statue is really not about Columbus; it’s about the Italian-American heritage, and I think that deserves to be celebrated,” Cuomo told reporters at the West Indian Day Parade. “I believe the Italian-American heritage should be celebrated as part of the ongoing New York celebration of diversity.”
The governor added: “Nobody is saying that Christopher Columbus did not do bad acts to indigenous people, and I believe the indigenous people, by the way, should be celebrated. But if you want to take that kind of retrospective lens, where do you stop? Thomas Jefferson, George Washington — you know, who is without sin?”
Vandals have hit a number of Columbus statues in New York and the one in Columbus circle is being considered for removal because of the explorer’s treatment of Native Americans.