BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Crews retrieved most of the Christopher Columbus statue Monday morning after it was thrown into Baltimore's harbor late Saturday.
The Christopher Columbus statue was recovered Monday after it was toppled by protesters over the weekend and thrown into the harbor.
It took a crane and divers to pull up pieces of the statue out of the water near Little Italy. Now, the Italian community is vowing to put the Columbus statue back together again.
"We're putting him back together because that is an Italian thing!" Gia Blattermann, of Cafe Gia in Little Italy.
"It took diving crews and a crane to bring all of the statue up. Members of the Italian American community organizing an effort to recover the statue.
On Sunday, several people from the Little Italy community tried to retrieve the statue with a rope but were unsuccessful.
"I'm a little disappointed that the rope broke," Tony Injeian said.
"The statue is going to be restored," said John Pica Jr. with the Associated Italian American Charities of Maryland.
They vowed to reassemble Columbus at a secret place.
"You won't see him again but we're putting him back together," Blatterman said.
The statue was pulled down Saturday night, then dragged across the brick pavers before protestors tossed it into the harbor.
"I don't give a damn that he is in the harbor right now," Jessica Dickerson, with Indigenous Strong, said Sunday.
The news of the fallen statue left many with a wide range of emotions
"Today was a victory for the entire Native American community," said Kayla Moore.
"He was a murderer to my people!" Dickerson said.
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"The way he was taken down, I don't agree with," Sarah Nguyen said.
The statue, dedicated in 1984, is now the latest statue to fall during nationwide outrage over images that many feel signify racism and oppression, but for Italian Americans "it's an insult to Italian Americans."
"The Italian community feels betrayed!" Blatterman said.
"He created a kind of highway for all immigrants," said Pica. "That's how my grandparents got here."
Governor Larry Hogan condemning the actions, saying in a statement: "Baltimore city leaders need to regain control of their own streets."
The mayor instructed the police commissioner to identify those involved in Saturday's events and make arrests.
In a statement police commissioner Michael Harrison said, "as the Baltimore Police Department was responding to several life and death incidents across the city, a small number of officers were assigned to assist with peaceful protests taking place in the downtown area. As the number of protesters grew, it was tactically unsafe for those few officers to position themselves between the protestors and the Christopher Columbus Statue in attempt to prevent vandalism and destruction. While we strongly oppose the destruction of property in our city, we will continue to mitigate any risk of injury to protestors and our officers. A full investigation of the destruction and vandalism of the statue is underway and we intend to hold those violators accountable."
You should arrest people who did that," Pica said. "You should put them in jail."
Folks like Blatterman said they hope to replace this statue here with another prominent Italian like Michelangelo or Mother Cabrini, she's the patron saint of immigrants.
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