Walsh: Beheaded Columbus statue in Boston will be removed, placed in storage

BOSTON (WHDH) – A Christopher Columbus statue that was beheaded in Boston’s North End overnight will be taken down and put into storage while city officials re-evaluate the “historic meaning” of the object that has been a repeated targeted of vandalism, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday.

A 7NEWS photographer discovered the vandalized statue with its head removed and smashed on the ground just after midnight on Wednesday.

Boston police were notified and could be seen documenting the incident.

While speaking to reporters outside City Hall, Walsh noted the issues surrounding the statue.

“We don’t condone any vandalism here in the city of Boston and that needs to stop. We are going to be taking the statue down this morning and putting it into storage to assess the damage to the statue,” Walsh said. “This particular statue has been subjected to repeated vandalism in Boston and given the conversations that we’re having now in Boston and across the country, we are going to be taking time to assess the historic meaning of the statue.”

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When asked if it would be put back up, Walsh responded, “We will have a conversation about that at some point.”

The same statue was vandalized with red paint and the phrase, “Black Lives Matter,” in 2015. Its head was cut off in 2006 and went missing for six days before being put back on.

Moonanum James, of the United American Indians of New England, said that “We’re fighting for Indigenous People’s Day, but one of the things we don’t do is vandalism. To me it’s disgusting. You can have your own feelings about things, but don’t destroy anything.”

Several other people were shocked by the statue’s beheading, including Brendon Fahey, who said, “It’s terrible what’s going on in the world, but this isn’t the way to show it. There’s other ways. That’s really sad.”

An investigation remains ongoing.

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