Columbus, a symbol uncomfortable ‘made in Italy’ How Was Columbus a genocidal? Columbus: is a hero or a villain?

The statue dedicated to Christopher Columbus in New York is officially protected. The time explorer’s genoese has just been included in the National Register of Historic Places, which means, in practice, may not be removed from the place that it occupies in the plaza on the southwest corner of Central Park, in front of the towers of Time Warner. The work of the Italian sculptor Gaetano Russo is considered by some to neighbors and civic groups as a symbol to be racist.

the figure of The seaman Italian generates controversy more than 500 years after his death. The mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, had to include a year ago the sculpture in a test to determine if it represented a “symbol of hearing”, in the wake of several cities withdrew memorials confederate by the racial incidents in Virginia. After three months of consultations, in January it was decided that was where I was in the plaza of Columbus Circle.

But to have full warranties, it should be declared a monument of federal. That designation already has it. The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, applauded the decision of inclusion in the national register because it believes that the statue represents “a tribute” to the different ways in which the neighbours of the Empire State welcome the immigrants that come from all corners of the world. It also acknowledges the contribution of the community italoamericana to their culture.

Although the statue 23 meters high will remain in your square at the foot of Central Park, it was decided that they must incorporate new elements of information to explain to the public what it represents in the history of EE UU. In addition, it commissioned the installation of another monument in the city dedicated to recognizing indigenous peoples so as to maintain a collective conversation to overcome prejudices and promote mutual understanding.

The sculpture, Nakitbahis which was erected for the first time in 1892 in Central Park, was already included last September in the historical record of the State of New York. At that time, requested that he be given the same recognition at the national level. The federal register justifies its decision by saying that it is “an example of public art,” while also representing “the ethnic history and social” of the united STATES.

“I’m proud that we’ve managed to secure this appointment”, values Andrew Cuomo. The democrat, of origin Italian-american and one of the main standard-bearers against the xenophobic rhetoric of the president, Donald Trump, insists that it acknowledges the history and the diversity of all the cultures in the State. New York held, in addition, in a parade along Fifth Avenue dedicated to the browser. Bill de Blasio also boasts of his Italian ancestry.

The decision comes after the controversy that led to the removal of another statue of Columbus’s main park, Los Angeles, on the 10th of November, with the argument that the admiral, who arrived in America in 1492, was “a genocide” of the indigenous tribes, in a campaign led by councilmember Mitch O’farrell against the symbols of the Spanish conquest. That fact prompted this diary were to ask a dozen historians, Spanish and american, if you can really consider Columbus a genocidal.

Almost all refuted that description, but disagreed on their performance as a governor of the west Indies. The other conclusion is that the prominence of Spanish arrival, conquest, and colonization of America is very unknown in the united States. New York, for the importance of the community italoamericana, is more lenient with the figure of Christopher Columbus. As pointed out by the own Cuomo, “is a monument revered”. Were those Italian entrepreneurs in the city who financed the project of Carlo Barsotti, editor of the daily newspaper Il Progress.