Philadelphia Columbus statue: Box around statue in Marconi Plaza must be removed, court rules

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — The box surrounding the statue of Christopher Columbus in South Philadelphia’s Marconi Plaza must be removed, according to a Friday Commonwealth Court ruling.

A box has surrounded the statue for two years. It is currently painted in the colors of the Italian flag.

Pictured: The box surrounding the Columbus statue at Marconia Plaza on December 9, 2022.

Attorney George Bochetto, representing the statue’s supporters, said in a statement he was “delighted” that “the rule of law still matters.”

“That we are not a society ruled by a culture mob. That all ethnic groups can proudly protect and honor their diverse heritage,” Bochetto continued.

City of Philadelphia spokesman Kevin Lessard said the city was “very disappointed” with the court’s ruling.

“We continue to believe that the Christopher Columbus statue, which has been a source of controversy in Philadelphia, should be removed from its current location in Marconi Plaza,” Lessard said.

He went on to say that the city is reviewing the recent verdict and is “working to comply with the court’s orders, including unpacking.”

“While we will respect that decision, we will continue to evaluate our options for a path forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage and culture while respecting the stories and circumstances of everyone’s diverse backgrounds,” said lessard

The lawsuit over the statue began with Mayor Jim Kenney’s decision to take down the statue in the summer of 2020 amid the George Floyd protests that erupted in cities across the country, including Philadelphia.

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