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Columbus statue in New Haven to be removed despite injunction

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    NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) — A team of activists is working to save a Christopher Columbus statue in New Haven’s Wooster Square, but it may be in vain.

The Italian American Heritage Group of New Haven filed an injunction to prevent city leaders from removing the monument.

However, New Haven police told Channel 3 that the statue will be removed on Wednesday morning.

A group of between 40 and 50 people in support of the statue gathered near it around 6 a.m.

The injunction, which has not yet been approved, was filed on Tuesday in New Haven Court with the goal to protect the statue of Christopher Columbus.

Members of the Italian American Heritage Group of New Haven said they want to make sure no one removes the monument.

“All race, creeds, religions, they all have something to endure from their past so now are we going to take down statues of anywhere affiliated with something that was wrong in the past?” asked Peter Criscuolo, Italian Heritage Group of New Haven. “I mean where does it stop.”

However, city officials pivoted toward removing the statue by Wednesday morning.

Columbus statues became a lightning rod in recent weeks following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while Minneapolis police custody.

Critics said his image is painful to indigenous people and that Columbus was especially cruel to slaves and minorities. Others, however, said although he was not perfect, people can not deny Columbus’s historical importance or the fact that he became a hero to many Italian Americans.

Channel 3 has seen Columbus statues around the country and in Connecticut vandalized in recent weeks.

Over the weekend, someone splattered red paint on the monument in Wooster Square.

Those incidents led some people to argue the statues have become safety issues, but members of the Italian American Heritage Group of New Haven disagree.

The real protection though may come in the form of the injunction.

The group claims the city can’t remove the monument because it’s in a historically protected area.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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