Lightfoot strongly hints she'll ignore Columbus statue recommendation

  • City crews inspect the straps around a Christopher Columbus statue as they begin to remove it July 24, 2020, from Chicago's Grant Park.

    City crews inspect the straps around a Christopher Columbus statue as they begin to remove it July 24, 2020, from Chicago's Grant Park. Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times

 
 
Updated 5/2/2022 5:44 PM

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday hinted strongly that she plans to ignore a controversial recommendation from her own monuments committee to permanently sideline statues of Christopher Columbus in Grant and Arrigo parks and remove the Balbo Monument in Burnham Park.

Lightfoot said she has not yet officially received the volatile suggestion. She expects to get it soon and plans to "take a look at it."

 

But it sure sounds like the verdict is already in.

Lightfoot described Columbus as an "incredibly controversial figure, given what happened to the Native population across the Americas" when he arrived here.

"He didn't discover America, right? The Native populations were here for centuries before Columbus sailed here," she said. "But I also know that Columbus is an incredibly important figure to many -- not the least of which is the Italian American community in Chicago. So we've got to put that into the proper context."

• For the full report, visit chicago.suntimes.com.

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