Christopher Columbus statue Chicago: Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans sues city for Arrigo Park monument removal

CHICAGO (WLS) – An Italian-American group is filing a lawsuit over the removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus in Chicago.

It has been almost a year since the statue of Christopher Columbus was removed from Arrigo Park following the civil unrest. Now a group wants it back.

The Italian-American Joint Administrative Committee said on Wednesday it had filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Park District to return the statue.

RELATED: Chicago Statues of Christopher Columbus in Grant Park, Little Italy removed by city; some aldermen were blindfolded, others welcomed the decision

The group argued that Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the removal of three Columbus statues as a safety measure during the protests. Team members believe the move is temporary and want the statues back.

The group said the statue in Arrigo Park was placed there in 1973 to honor Italian Americans, and there was a signed agreement that it would not be removed without written approval. .

Ronald Onesti, JCCI president said: “We are not asking for damages, an explanation or even an apology. “We simply wanted the statues to go back to where they belonged, plain and simple. Over the past year, we’ve been communicative, respectful, and positive. But the lack of response from the whole Chicago Park District. and the mayor’s office has led to an unavoidable situation, hence this lawsuit. We’ve waited long enough.”

This Sunday, the JCCI plans to hold the Day of Italian Unity in the park marking the one-year anniversary of the lifting. They are calling on people to support their cause to pack up the park.

The city said it is reviewing the lawsuit. A spokesperson for Mayor Lightfoot released a statement saying, “” The City’s efforts throughout this process are not about a single statue or mural, but about creating a The formal process will reflect our values ​​and enhance our rich and diverse history. Over the past year, we have aimed to engage residents, community organizations, and national experts to help guide the Chicago Monuments Project. Work will continue this summer with a series of residential live shows. Following the conclusion of this deliberation, the City will publish a report summarizing this engagement and the committee’s recommendations. Ensuring that our city symbols represent inclusion and enhance Chicago’s stories remains paramount. ”

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Huynh Nguyen

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