City of Buffalo removes Christopher Columbus Statue

Italian-American Societies request removal, Columbus Park to be renamed

Columbus Park Removed Statue

[WBEN Photo - Brendan Keany]

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A monumental morning in Columbus Park Friday morning, as the Federation of Italian-American Societies of Western New York gathered with Mayor Brown and other city officials to announce that they have removed the Christopher Columbus statue in a proactive measure.

It is now the current desire of the Federation to erect a new monument that will recognize and honor the struggles faced by Italian immigrants in the United States.

"We wanted to preserve this space for a future memorial to the Italian immigrant, and we wanted the renaming of Columbus Park to be in honor of Italian heritage," said Don Alessi of the Federation. 

Before the removal of the statue, the Federation and the city agreed to five points that still have to go through the Common Council:

  • The city will restore ownership of the Columbus statue to the Federation, who originally paid for the statue in the 1930's
  • The Columbus statue will be stored at a location selected by the Federation and the city until a future display location is determined
  • The Columbus Statue is to be replaced at the current park location with a monument to be commissioned by the Federation, with city approval, honoring Italian immigrants
  • The park will be renamed in dedication of Italian-American heritage. The name will be chosen by the Federation in consultation with the city.
  • The city will annually recognize the second Monday of October as Italian Heritage Day

Councilman David Rivera commented on why the process of this removal makes the act important.

"What is so interesting about this particular case is that the decision was made by Italian-Americans to recognize what it represents to other people as well," said Rivera.

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