Italian American group wants statues returned by Columbus Day, protected at taxpayer expense

Aug 04, 2022 493

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans said Wednesday it’s putting the final touches on a plan to return by Columbus Day and protect — at city expense — statues of Christopher Columbus that Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered removed from Grant and Arrigo parks two years ago. President Ron Onesti said the plan — devised by a "national security firm" at the committee’s expense — calls for various levels of protection. 

The statues became a favorite target of protests and vandalism during the civil unrest following the May 2020 death of George Floyd. Protesters clashed with police in Grant Park while trying to topple the statue during a large confrontation in July 2020. The recommendations range from cameras, motion detectors, bio-metrics and 24-hour guards to artificial intelligence, "plexiglass encasement" and "coatings" on the statutes themselves "so that clean-up is easier," Onesti said.

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