A Staten Island congressman wants an iconic statue of Christopher Columbus relocated to federal park land in his borough if the city takes it down in Manhattan in a frenzy of political correctness.
“Christopher Columbus is a permanent fixture of our national history. Rarely can we trace the wheels of progress over 500 years back to the actions of a single person,” said Rep. Dan Donovan (R-SI/Brooklyn).
“If a radical group bent on sanitizing history doesn’t want the statue at Columbus Circle anymore, Staten Island will gladly accept it.”
Donovan said he’s making a direct appeal to Mayor de Blasio.
The Columbus statue will be embraced in Donovan’s congressional district, which includes the highest concentration of Italian-American citizens in the country.
To resolve the controversy, Donovan proposed that the Columbus statue be donated to the National Parks Service, which controls Great Kills Park on Staten Island.
“Columbus is a symbol of Italian-American culture. He discovered our land, and generations of Italian-Americans helped build New York. I will fight tooth and nail to see to it that his statue remains a fixture in our city,” he said.
Donovan and his office spoke with senior U.S. Department of Interior officials on Thursday afternoon about the matter.
Long revered as the heroic sailor who discovered America in 1492, some activists today revile Columbus as an imperialist colonizer who slaughtered and enslaved indigenous Caribbeans.
Mayor de Blasio said the fate of Columbus statues will be part of a review a commission he plans to appoint to examine which historical monuments are deemed hateful and should be removed.
City parks host five major monuments to Columbus, including the one in Columbus Circle.