Don’t burden taxpayers with security costs of returning Columbus statues to parks

Hundreds of protesters surround the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park in 2020. They attempted to pull the statue down and many battled with Chicago Police.

|Alexander Gouletas/For the Sun-Times

Strolling past statues guarded around the clock doesn’t strike us as a relaxing way to enjoy the city’s great parks.

That’s one reason why it’s not a good idea to restore those controversial statues of Christopher Columbus to their former locations at Grant and Arrigo parks, from which they were removed two years ago to protect them against vandalism.

To be clear: We’re not condoning the assaults by protestors against police officers who were just doing their job protecting the statues. There’s no excuse for those assaults or for the vandalism itself.

Nor do we like the idea that individuals willing to attack cops, as they did in 2020 when protests against the statues took place in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, have the last word on where public art is displayed.

But common sense ought to prevail. It’s not a good time to devote resources to protecting statues when the city is criticized for not doing enough to protect people. Moreover, taxpayers already have enough of a financial burden (remember those underfunded pensions?) without digging deeper into their pockets to pay for the statues’ protection.

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On Wednesday, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans said it wants the statues returned to their former locations by Columbus Day and to have them protected …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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