NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A Staten Island congressman said he has a plan to rescue the statue of Christopher Columbus from the forces of political correctness overtaking the city.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer explained, the Great Kills National Park on Staten Island might not be as tony a neighborhood as Manhattan's Columbus Circle, but congressman Dan Donovan said it would make a great home for the statue of Christopher Columbus.
"It's just hard to understand why people are picking on such a historic figure," he said, "That this would be the target of someone's aggression, it just doesn't make sense to me. It's un-American to me."
Donovan said that as the mayor seeks to subject each monument and statue in the city to a fitness test to eliminate what hizzoner calls symbols of hate, he should donate the Columbus statue to Staten Island which has one of the largest concentrations of Italian Americans in the nation.
"I don't see Christopher Columbus as a symbol of hate. I see Christopher Columbus being a symbol of Italian American contributions to our nation," he said.
The congressman wants to bring the Columbus statue to Great Kills because it's federal land and de Blasio has zero jurisdiction.
Great Kills, which is part of Gateway National Park, has a water view for the explorer who sailed the ocean blue, and most important; people who want him.
"We're proud Italians, proud Americans, I would welcome it. I would welcome the Christopher Columbus statue," Maria said.
"I call him 'Dumb-Lasio," one woman said.
Angelo Vivolo, president of the Italian American Foundation, said he's going to do his best to convince the mayor to leave the statue where it is.
"Your honor with all due respect, I think you are misinformed. you should not include the statue of Christopher Columbus in your study going forward," he said.
A spokesman for the mayor said he would have no comment on moving the Columbus statue to Great Kills because, "we are nowhere near that point in the process." Later, in an apparent effort to distance himself from political blowback, a spokesman said the commission will decide which statues are reviewed.
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