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3rd Christopher Columbus Statue in Chicago Taken Down

Last week, statues in Grant Park and Little Italy were temporarily removed after protests took place across the city

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A third Christopher Columbus statue in Chicago was removed from its post early Friday morning.

The statue was located at East 92nd Street near South Chicago and Exchange Ave on the city's South Side. As of Friday morning, the structure in the intersection was still standing, but the statue itself had been removed.

Neither city officials nor the area's alderman responded to multiple requests for comment on the removal.

Last week, statues in Grant Park and Little Italy were temporarily removed after protests took place across the city. Last Friday, chaos erupted as clashes broke out during a protest calling for the Grant Park statue's removal. There, 49 Chicago police officers and four demonstrators were injured. More than a dozen individuals were also arrested.

Chicago police have since said a group infiltrated the peaceful protest to spark violence.

"The city of Chicago—at Mayor Lightfoot’s direction—has temporarily removed the Christopher Columbus statues in Grant Park and Arrigo Park until further notice," the mayor's office said in a statement on the removal of the first two statues.

Chicago’s two Christopher Columbus statues were taken down early Friday morning, nearly one week after protests erupted in the city. Lauren Petty reports.

"This action was taken after consultation with various stakeholders. It comes in response to demonstrations that became unsafe for both protesters and police, as well as efforts by individuals to independently pull the Grant Park statue down in an extremely dangerous manner," Lightfoot's statement continued. "This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city's symbols."

Protesters across the county have called for the removal of statues of Columbus, saying that the Italian explorer is responsible for the genocide and exploitation of native peoples in the Americas.

Still, some Italian-Americans in Chicago have said they did not support the move, holding a rally on July 26 in Little Italy to express their anger at the statue's removal.

Lightfoot said earlier this month that she would announce a process in which the city will take inventory of the various monuments, paintings "and other things that memorialize" Chicago's past and history.

"In time, our team will determine there are no monuments to African Americans in this city," Lightfoot said. "There are no monuments to women. There are no monuments that reflect the contributions of people in the city of Chicago who contributed to the greatness of this city."

That marked a change from her statements in June, when she said she didn't believe the statue at Grant Park should be taken down.

"Look, I know that the issue of Columbus, Columbus Day is an issue of great discussion but I think that the way in which we educate our young people in particular about the history is to educate them about the full history," Lightfoot said at the time.

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