Crews have removed a statue of Christopher Columbus in Hartford on Monday morning.
The statue is located on Lafayette Street and was donated to the City of Hartford by Italian-American citizens. It was unveiled and dedicated on Columbus Day in 1926, according to the Hartford Preservation Alliance.
Over the past several days, a city official said there were conversations with the mayor's office on how to bring down the statue in a safe way. The decision was made to remove the statue. That process began at 3:30 a.m.
The statue is expected to be put in storage once it is taken down, a city official said. After that, a decision will be made on where the statue goes.
Mayor Luke Bronin released a statement Monday afternoon:
"We took down the statue of Christopher Columbus early this morning, and we will continue the process of working with the Italian American community in Hartford and Greater Hartford to find a better way to honor and commemorate the Italian American community's immense contributions to our community and our country. Even during his own life and by the standards of his own time, Columbus was known and punished for his extraordinary tyranny and brutality, and there are better ways and more worthy heroes to honor the proud heritage and legacy of our Italian American community."
The statues have been removed amid protests nationwide for racial justice.