Here's What a Judge Told Philadelphia to Do With Its Columbus Statue

N Giovannucci, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

For over two years, the statue of Christopher Columbus in Philadelphia’s Marconi Plaza has sat inside a massive plywood box. As protests over the death of George Floyd and other racially tinged incidents roiled the nation, the city constructed a large box to cover the Columbus statue.


Mayor Jim Kenney, a Democrat (what a shock), wanted to get rid of the statue, ostensibly in the name of public safety, and started the ball rolling to remove the statue, which has been in place since 1876.

The city placed a notice on the statue that read:

Notice by City of Philadelphia: The Christopher Columbus statue has been a source of controversy in Philadelphia and areas across our country. Many are calling for the removal of the statue. The City understands their concerns and will be initiating a process for the Art Commission to review the statue, its location and its appropriateness in a public park. We are committed to listening to all and moving forward in the best way to heal our deep divides. The boxing is to preserve the statue while the Art Commission process is followed. No decision has been made on whether the City will remove the statue.

Last year, a judge struck down the mayor’s efforts to remove the statue completely, ruling that the city failed to make the case that the statue was a threat to the safety of the city and its residents. Yet the box continued to encase the statue.


Earlier this year, the city painted the unsightly box in the colors of the Italian flag at the request of Councilmember Mark Squilla, who represents the district.

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But on Friday, a judge ordered the city to unbox the statue. Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt ruled that the city must remove the box, and if it wants to make comment on the statue, it should erect a plaque explaining its disapproval.

“More to the point, the City accepted the donation of the Columbus statue in 1876. It has a fiduciary duty to preserve that statue, which it designated an historic object in 2017. The Columbus statue is not City property as is, for example, a City snowblower,” Leavitt wrote.

As a result of the riots and rhetoric — “mostly peaceful,” of course — that tore the country apart in 2020, any historical figure that didn’t meet the approval of the woke mob became a target for cancellation or removal.

Columbus, in particular, has been a lightning rod of controversy, as though he personally oversaw the spread of smallpox and slavery in the New World.


Now that Judge Leavitt has issued a ruling, the city’s lily-white mayor is expressing his disappointment via his lily-white spokesman.

Kenney’s spokesman, Kevin Lessard, said that the city would unbox the statue when doing so is “practically and logistically feasible.” Cue the city’s efforts to drag its feet, along with loads of politically correct boilerplate rhretoric.

“We will also continue to explore our options for a way forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage and culture while respecting the histories and circumstances of everyone´s different backgrounds,” Lessard told the Daily Mail in an email.



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