Just hours after Norwalk's mayor announced the statue of Christopher Columbus would be taken down, work crews removed the monument that has stood in the city since 1940.
Mayor Harry Rilling's made the announcement on Thursday, June 25, regarding the removal of the statue from Heritage Park.
“While discussions were ongoing about the future and location of the statue, the Columbus Memorial Fund, who maintains the statue, reached out to me and expressed concerns about the possibility of vandalism or outright destruction," Rilling said. "They asked the city to assist with moving the statue and we agreed. We felt this was the best outcome.”
Later Thursday as the sun began to set, work crews, along with police blocking off the area, arrived on the scene and began taking down the statue that has been the subject of much controversy.
Many felt the removal was connected to a protest planned for Saturday, June 27, at Heritage Park.
The Connecticut Youth Activists organization began the drive to remove the statue with an online petition that had 303 signatures on Friday, June 26.
The activists said on their petition page they would like the statue to be replaced with a monument dedicated to the Wappinger and “Lanope” people.
"We support the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue located at Heritage Wall in Downtown Norwalk and for it to be replaced with a monument that is dedicated to the Wappinger and Lanope people," the group said.
The Columbus Memorial Fund, who owns the statue, have not announced where they would plan to erect the statue.
Another Columbus statue was removed earlier in the week in New Haven after protests in the area of the statue.
- See Related Story: Crews Remove Christopher Columbus Statue That Dates Back To 1892 After Protests In New Haven
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