It’s Columbus Day Today, and His Statue Is Covered in Los Angeles

October 9, 2017 1:10 pm Last Updated: October 9, 2017 2:32 pm

A statue of Christopher Columbus was covered Monday, Oct. 9.

The statue, located in Los Angeles’ Grand Park, is located near the entrance of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse off Hill Street. A white cover now shrouds the statue, CBS LA reported.

The display is now surrounded by a chain-link fence, which was set up for the monument.

Officials in Los Angeles did not say whether they would cover the statue. Some statues of Columbus in New York and other cities have been damaged.

The Los Angeles City Council voted in August to rename Columbus Day, which is a federal holiday, to Indigenous Peoples Day. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also voted earlier this month to expunge references to Columbus Day as a county holiday, saying that Oct. 12 is Italian American Heritage Day and creating the new Indigenous Peoples Day.

Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles County will fall on the second Monday in October, starting no later than 2019, the CBS report points out.

Some Italian Americans say that eliminating Columbus Day is culturally insensitive. Columbus was born in Italy in 1451, but he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean to North American under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain.

“We had a very difficult time in this country for well over a hundred years,” said Basil Russo, president of the Order Italian Sons and Daughters of America, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“Columbus Day is a day that we’ve chosen to celebrate who we are. And we’re entitled to do that just as they are entitled to celebrate who they are.”

Meanwhile, Rubén Díaz Jr., the current President of the Borough of the Bronx in New York City, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Post, saying that people shouldn’t “mess with Christopher Columbus.”

“This statue should not be removed,” he said of the Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Circle in Manhattan. “The statue of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle was not built to herald the explorer’s subjugation of native people,” he wrote.

“The Columbus Circle statue was erected in 1892 following a massive fundraising campaign by the nation’s Italian-American community in recognition of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the Americas,” he wrote.

He added that the statues of the explorer “represents much more than the explorer. It represents the spirit of the Italian-Americans that have done so much to shape this city and this nation — from giants like Fiorello La Guardia and Joe DiMaggio and Mother Cabrini, to the laborers who built so much of this great city.”