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Columbus Statue Decapitated in Waterbury Amid Protests

FILE - Passers-by walk near a damaged Christopher Columbus statue, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in a waterfront park near the city's traditionally Italian North End neighborhood, in Boston.

A statue of Christopher Columbus in Waterbury has been decapitated amid protests over racial injustice and the legacy of the 15th-century navigator.

The Republican-American reports that photos shot Saturday show the headless statue outside Waterbury's City Hall.

The statue had been the focus of a standoff earlier in the week between its supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters who wanted it removed.

For many Americans, the annual Columbus Day holiday honors the heritage and contributions of the 17 million-plus Italian Americans living in the United States.
But honoring navigator Christopher Columbus has long been considered by many as an affront to Native Americans who were in the so-called New World long before Columbus arrived in 1492.

Several Columbus statues in Connecticut have been removed in recent weeks as anti-racism protesters have argued that the renowned explorer was responsible for the exploitation and genocide of Indigenous people.

Crews removed a Columbus statue from its pedestal in Hartford on Monday, and city leaders said it would be placed in storage until a decision is made on what to do with it.

The Waterbury statue was donated to the city in the 1980s by UNICO, an Italian American organization.

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