After being decapitated early Wednesday morning, the statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston’s North End neighborhood has been removed. Mayor Walsh has said that the statue is being stored while the city considers its historic context and value.
“Given the conversations that we’re certainly having right now in our city of Boston and throughout the country, we’re also going to take time to assess the historic meaning of the statue,” said Walsh at a press conference on Wednesday.
Indigenous activists have said that the statue is a symbol of white supremacy and indigenous genocide, and that it’s time for it to be removed permanently. Boston is far from the only place where this conversation is happening — activists around the world have been pulling down statues of slave owners, racists, and perpetrators of genocide themselves, and calling for more to be removed.
On Twitter, suggested alternatives to replace the Columbus statue have, of course, already been made. Some are facetious — the rat from the end of “The Departed,” a styrofoam Dunkin cup, Tony Soprano. More serious suggestions include Boston musical icons Donna Summer and Bobby Brown, sports legends David Ortiz and Jim Rice, former late Mayor Thomas Menino, and Crispus Attucks. A petition has even begun circulating to replace the Columbus statue with one of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian migrants who have been widely regarded as wrongfully executed by the Commonwealth in 1927.
Who would you like to see as a statue in Boston? Should we bring back Christopher Columbus or is there someone else more deserving? Let us know your suggestions in the survey below, or by emailing [email protected], and your response may be included in an upcoming Boston.com article.