Town repairs Columbus statue after referendum on location

December 3, 2020 GMT

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — The town of Waterbury, Connecticut, repaired damage to a statue of Christopher Columbus, following a referendum in which voters overwhelmingly chose to leave the statue in front of city hall, instead of moving it.

A sculptor used epoxy on Tuesday to replace the statue’s head, which a New York man is accused of knocking off on July 4, the Republican-American reported.

Waterbury’s chapter of UNICO, the Italian-American service organization, raised $8,800 to fund the restoration. The sculptor replaced the statue’s nose in advance and then returned the head to the body.


But it was voters who decided in a referendum on Nov. 3 to keep the statue where it is in front of city hall. Following the vandalism, Waterbury’s mayor decided to put the question of whether to move the statue on the ballot, the newspaper reported.

More than 17,200 voters responded, “Yes,” to the question, “Shall the Christopher Columbus statue remain in its current location?” compared to around 11,700 responding, “No.”

Over the summer, multiple towns in Connecticut, and across the country, chose to remove Columbus statues following widespread protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Demonstrators and activists have targeted the statues because of Columbus’ legacy of killing and exploiting Native Americans.