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Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Calls For Review Of Schenley Park's Christopher Columbus Statue

By: KDKA-TV News

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Mayor Bill Peduto has called for a public process for reviewing the Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park.

The Art Commission will lead the public process, which will include a special hearing and a period of online engagement where people can recommend whether to leave it, remove it, replace it or alter it.

The statue is owned by the city and sits on city property in Schenley Park.

"Public art is an essential element of community identity, public history, and evolving culture. It reflects and reveals who we are and what our communities mean to us," Mayor Peduto said in a statement.

"As they did with the Stephen Foster Memorial, I know that the Art Commission will take this opportunity to thoughtfully lead the City through this evaluation with the backdrop that the public process is very important."

This statue has been vandalized twice in the recent months.

Columbus Statue
(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Brian Smithmyer)

In June, the statue was vandalized with red paint. Hand prints and phrases including "murder" were painted on the statue before it was cleaned up.

Then in July, the messages said "no more racist rapist," "BLM" and "abolition now."

Around the country, other Columbus statues have been taken down or vandalized. The future of the statue outside Pittsburgh will be considered starting Wednesday with a discussion at the city's Art Commission virtual meeting.

The commission will then make a recommendation to the mayor on how he should proceed.

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