Culture News

Italian-Americans in Little Italy Unite to Demand Columbus Statues Be Returned

On Sunday, July 25th, hundreds of Italian-Americans gathered at Arrigo Park in Little Italy.

Arrigo Park is one of the sites where Chicago removed a Christopher Columbus statue last summer. Just a week ago, a group of Italian Americans filed a lawsuit against the city. The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans explained that the city violated an agreement from 1973 regarding the statute and changes made to it.

Members and supporters of Chicago’s Italian American community attend a rally on July 25, 2021, at Arrigo Park commemorating one year since three Columbus statues were removed from parks in the city. (Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune)

During the gathering, Italian leaders asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot to return it. Ron Onesti, President of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, explained, “We are here to tell the mayor of the city of Chicago, we want the Columbus statues back. Onesti stated, “We will use every resource possible to make sure our ethnic group is respected and our issues are addressed.”

Currently, Chicago is reviewing the lawsuit and the Chicago Monument Project is looking into the Columbus statues to ensure that they reflect Chicago’s population.

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