SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — yracuse Mayor Ben Walsh held a virtual press briefing Friday afternoon, shortly after the announcement of the city’s decision to remove its Columbus Statue.
Walsh said he understands the decision to remove the monument honoring Christopher Columbus may upset some, but believes that this is the right move to allow the community as a whole to heal.
He said the goal is not to erase the Italian American history in Central New York, but to find a way to portray the history more accurately and in a way that would not divide the community.
To reach this decision the City of Syracuse formed a Columbus Circle Action Group, which consisted of members from diverse backgrounds. The group met multiple times over the past several months and put forth several recommendations to the city.
Walsh said a main sticking point for the action group was the statue itself, not what the statue was meant to represent, which is the Italian American heritage in Syracuse. The new monument will be designed to honor the Onondaga Nation and other groups who have been suppressed as well.
The Columbus Monument Corporation responded to the city’s announcement saying they were disappointed in the timing of this announcement and the city’s decision. They say they do plan to pursue legal action to stop the monument’s removal.