Mayor Bill Peduto on Friday recommended the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue from Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park, in agreement with a recent vote by the city’s Art Commission.
The Columbus statue should be temporarily stored elsewhere until determining a new private location where it can be displayed, Peduto said in a letter to the art commission.
“All four of my grandparents were Italian and personally experienced discrimination, yet learned to love their new country,” Peduto said in the letter. “I am tremendously proud to be part of the Italian-American community in Pittsburgh, just as I am proud to be mayor of the city of Pittsburgh and to represent all people of our city.
“After much thought and prayer I believe it is now time for us to return the Columbus statue to the Italian-American community that brought it into existence. They can preserve it in a manner than celebrates Italian-American culture, while acknowledging the wreckage that slavery and racism has done to America.”