A piece of Little Italy’s heart was destroyed along with the Columbus statue in Baltimore

Jul 07, 2020 577

BY: Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore

The Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to promote our community's heritage, history, and events; therefore, a non-political one. Stated below are the facts of an act of vandalism. We wish to express our sadness, disappointment, and anger at this personal attack on our neighborhood.

On the evening of July 4, 2020, a mob of several hundred “protesters” destroyed the statue of Christopher Columbus at the west entrance to our Little Italy neighborhood. They threw ropes around the statue, pulled it from its pedestal with an impact that broke it to pieces, dragged it to water’s edge, and dumped it into the harbor. Although the Baltimore City Police were present, they had been given orders to “stand down.” This mayhem occurred during the celebration of our nation’s independence.

The statue of Christopher Columbus was built with funds raised largely by Baltimore’s Italian American community. It was carved in Italy, gifted to the City of Baltimore, and dedicated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It has been a sense of immense pride for the people of Little Italy and those of Italian descent with annual celebrations around the Columbus Day holiday including parades, wreath-layings, and Italian festivals. It is a symbol of immigration to America which attracted hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to seek improved lives for their families. In that spirit is what we as ancestors of Italian immigrants struggle to preserve.

A piece of Little Italy’s heart was destroyed along with this statue. The “protesters” gave no thought to the Italian immigrant experience in the United States which included ample discrimination, abuse, starvation, and lynchings.

Since immigrants arrived and established Little Italy in Baltimore City several generations ago, they and its community have survived many, many victories – and many, many defeats. The neighborhood has celebrated – and cried – through each of those. Little Italy will pull through this incident as well. We ask for your support and prayers during this upset.

Please know you can count on Promotion Center for Little Italy, Baltimore, to keep the community and public updated as plans are made to continue to celebrate our neighborhood’s rich history, culture, and ethnic pride.

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