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Italian American Group Sues Chicago Park District, Seeks Return Of Columbus Statue To Arrigo Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- An Italian-American group is suing the Chicago Park District for breach of contract in an effort to get a statue of Christopher Columbus returned to Arrigo Park in the Little Italy neighborhood.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the statue temporarily removed from the park last summer amid widespread civil unrest. Another statue of Columbus in Grant Park had become the focus of several protests, including one when protesters clashed with police as demonstrators tried to pull that statue down. That statue also has since removed.

The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans says the city violated a 1973 agreement to get the approval of the committee before making any changes to the Columbus statue in Arrigo Park or the plaza where it was located.

The committee said it's time to return the Columbus statue to Arrigo Park, where the fountain on which it stood is still flowing, but the statue itself is still gone.

The Columbus statues are among more than 40 Chicago monuments that a city advisory panel earlier this year identified as potentially problematic, and subject to "further review" before the city decides what to do with them. The city is seeking public input to help decide the fate of those monuments as part of a "racial healing and historical reckoning project."

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