Philadelphia’s mayor and officials face a lawsuit over Columbus

Harris Marley

Global Courant

A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, group that fought to have a box removed from covering a statue of Christopher Columbus in a south side park has filed a lawsuit against the city’s mayor and members of its historical commission alleging threatening to remove the statue.

The Friends of Marconi Plaza filed the lawsuit May 25 in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, seeking a jury trial and taking on Mayor James Kenney, as well as Robert Thomas, Kimberly Washington, Daniel McCoubrey, Emily Cooperman, Jonathan E. Farnham, Kenneth Woodson, Ralph S. Pinkus, and Stephen Petit.

A statue of Christopher Columbus in Philadelphia has been covered up for the past two years after violence broke out between those protecting the monument and those who wanted it to come down. Last week, a judge reversed an order to remove the statue so it could be exposed again. (FOX WTXF Philadelphia)

- Advertisement -

The defendants are charged with maliciously voting at several administrative hearings to remove a statue of Christopher Columbus from Marconi Plaza, and guilty of misconduct in following Kenney’s instructions to vote as he wanted them to they would vote, the lawsuit alleges.

PHILADELPHIA COLUMBUS STATUE DISCOVERED FOR FIRST IN TWO YEARS

“Acting through the Philadelphia Historical Commission (“PHC”) and the Philadelphia Board of Licenses & Inspection Review (the “Board”), Defendants have abused and exceeded their legal authority in a malicious conspiracy to deprive Plaintiff and the citizens of Philadelphia of their civil rights” , reads the pack.

In 1876, the Italian American community of Philadelphia donated a statue of Christopher Columbus to the city to celebrate the country’s 100th anniversary.

The Christopher Columbus statue in Marcon Plaza, Philadelphia, PA was covered in a green, white, and red plywood box prior to the judge’s ruling. (Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

- Advertisement -

The statue was sculpted from marble in Italy and funded by numerous groups and individuals, including the then king of Italy, King Victor Emmanuel II.

PHILADELPHIA MAY COVER STATUE OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS WITH PLYWOOD BOX

Not only was the statue a tribute to Columbus’ discovery of the new world for European nations, but it was also symbolic of the journey of many Italian-Americans who came to the US for a new life.

- Advertisement -

For centuries, Columbus was credited with discovering the Americas, but during that course, the European pioneer was found to have mistreated the indigenous people already on the land.

It really came to a head in 2020, when the statue became a symbol of hatred for some and a symbol of important history for others.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. (Fox Philadelphia)

The two groups clashed when those who supported the historic importance protected the statue from vandalism. The clash turned violent and people were arrested.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS ACCEPT REJECTED STATUE OF COLUMBUS? THAT’S NEWS FOR THEM: REPORT

As a result, the statue was covered with a box and out of concern for public safety, Kenney ordered the statue removed.

While Columbus was celebrated for centuries as an explorer, Kenney said he had a “much more infamous” history of enslaving and punishing the natives, including limb cutting and death.

Kenney’s decision to remove the statue was overturned by a judge who said city officials could not prove the statue posed a threat to public safety.

Global Courant

In December 2022, a Commonwealth Court ruling allowed a wooden box painted with green, white, and red stripes to be removed from the statue.

The judge also allowed a clear structure to be built around the statue.

Greg Wehner is a breaking news reporter for Fox News Digital.

Philadelphia’s mayor and officials face a lawsuit over Columbus

America Region News ,Next Big Thing in Public Knowledg

Share This Article