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Christopher Columbus statue in San Francisco removed

Statue of Christopher Columbus (Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons)

Christopher Columbus is off on another voyage.

Or at least a statue depicting the controversial explorer has gone packing. City crews removed it from its longtime home on a pedestal at the foot of Coit Tower early Thursday morning.

Two days ago, California state legislators decided to remove another Columbus statue, one that had resided in the Capitol rotunda since 1883. Legislative leaders decided it was out of place “given the deadly impact his arrival in this hemisphere had on indigenous populations.”

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin released a statement, “We believe that through public art we can and should honor the heritage of all of our people, including our Italian-American community, but in doing so we should choose symbols that unify us. The Arts and Recreation and Park Commissions will engage in a public process to determine what art work should go in that space near Coit Tower.”

The statue has been vandalized over the years, most recently last week when its face and hands were painted in bright red.

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