By WPRO News
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza Thursday ordered the removal of the controversial statue of Christopher Columbus from an Elmwood traffic island, after numerous vandalism incidents and threats. Committees will decide its fate.
Elorza issued a news release Thursday afternoon and said that a Special Committee for Commemorative Works would decide the fate of the statue. It has been the subject of numerous vandalism incidents over the last several years, culminating in an online threat to tear down the statue earlier this week, thwarted with a large show of force by riot-clad police.
“These works should reflect the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and be a source of pride for the residents who live within them. Through this Committee, we are allowing the community to take an active role in shaping these decisions and hope that through future projects, we can better reflect the collective memory of our beautiful city in these landmarks.”
The traffic island at Elmwood and Reservoir Avenues has been surrounded by chain link fencing for several weeks. City Councilman James Taylor said he erected the plywood box around the statue, which was subsequently spattered with paint, resulted in the June 13 arrests of three people, including a Pawtucket middle school teacher.