PHILADELPHIA - A judge ruled Tuesday that the controversial Christopher Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza in South Philadelphia can stay.
In a seven-page opinion, the judge said the city had no legal basis to remove the statue. The lawsuit was brought on by Friends of Marconi Plaza.
"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.
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.
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The Philadelphia Art Commission eventually voted to place the Columbus Statue in storage pending relocation.
"While we are very disappointed with the ruling, we're reviewing it now and exploring all potential options—including a possible appeal. The statue remains in Marconi Plaza and will continue to be secured in its existing box," a spokesperson for the mayor's office said in a statement to FOX 29.
Read the full order, here.