WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH/Nexstar) — A Christopher Columbus statue at the City Hall in Waterbury, Connecticut was vandalized Saturday morning and the statue’s head appears to have been removed.
People from around the area, either in support or opposition of Columbus, visited the statue throughout the day and a wreath was placed beside the statue later Saturday morning.
Dr. Robert Porzio was the Chairman of the Waterbury’s UNICO chapter in 1982. He recalled it took two years for the group to raise the money for this statue. It was put in place and dedicated in 1984.
“What we celebrate is his ability to come back and forth four different times over 500 years ago and be within 50 miles of the same spot,” Porzio said.
Columbus landed around Cuba and the Bahamas, but never reached North America, according to Porzio.
David X. Sullivan, who is running for U.S. Congress, said he is ‘troubled’ by what happened to the statue.
“This was a gift to the City of Waterbury from the Italian-Americans, and it’s unfortunate that it’s been desecrated in this manner,” Sullivan said.
Resident Chelsea Fann said, “I just feel like it shouldn’t be here, I feel like it’s disrespectful to the Black community.”
Resident Rob Williams said, “It’s unfortunate it had to go this way. I think action did need to happen, but it didn’t need to happen like this.”
Waterbury Police said they are currently investigating the ‘criminal mischief’ complaint. There is a Black Lives Matter protest happening Saturday afternoon in Waterbury, but there is no known connection between the rally and the statue vandalism.
Follow updates on sister station WTNH’s website.