Newport’s Columbus statue holds meaning to Italian Americans

Jul 08, 2020 663

This letter is written in response to the person or persons who wrote a petition to remove the Columbus statue in Newport. I imagine that many of those who signed the petition never knew there was a statue there. They drive by that statue and most likely don’t notice it or know who it is. But we Aquidneck Island Italian Americans know.

Why? Because it was paid for by our ancestors’ 30-year fundraising efforts to pay for its construction in Florence, Italy, and to have it transported here by a U.S. Navy ship. It was a gift to the city of Newport from "the Italian Colony of Newport," to commemorate the discovery of the new world by an Italian explorer. Something the Italian immigrants could give to their city to thank it for their opportunities here.

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