PHILADELPHIA - A judge ordered Friday the Christopher Columbus statue at Marconi Plaza in South Philadelphia to be uncovered as the city vows to fight the ruling. The judge's ruling did not include a timeline for the city to comply.
The city responded in a statement saying it appealed the ruling right away and has no intention of removing the box. The statement also says it will remain boxed in the "best interest and public safety for all Philadelphians."
President of the Friends of Marconi Rich Cedrone says he doesn't expect the plywood to come down right away. He wants it done soon but the right way and he has this to say to city officials.
"The judge rule that the plywood could come down and replaced by protective plexiglass because the statue it’s in bad shape and it needs some attention," said Cedrone. "I would like to say personally I think there’s a lot bigger problems in the city right now than to focus on the city. When I listen to news it’s where the next shooting was, there’s homeless people and drug activity. I think we need to conquer those kinds of problems."
In June 2020, the statue became the point of contention between groups who wanted to defend it from vandalism amid ongoing social unrest, and other groups who saw the statue as a symbol of hate. The confrontations between the opposing sides resulted in violence and arrests.
Christopher Columbus statue boxed up in South Philadelphia
A judge ruled in August 2021 that the statue could remain at Marconi Plaza, saying the city had no legal basis to remove it.
"It is baffling to this court as to how the City of Philadelphia wants to remove the Statue without any legal basis. The City’s entire argument and case is devoid of any legal foundation," Judge Paula Patrick wrote.
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