Politics

Andrew Cuomo Defends Christopher Columbus Statue, Says It Represents ‘Italian-American Legacy’

(Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)

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Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he did not support taking down a statue of Christopher Columbus in Central Park, saying it “represents in some ways the Italian-American legacy.”

“I understand the dialogue that’s been going on for a number of years,” Cuomo said at a press conference Thursday. “The Christopher Columbus statue represents in some ways the Italian-American legacy in this country, and the Italian-American contribution in this country.”

“I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus, and some of his acts, which nobody would support,” the governor added. “But the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian-American contribution to New York. For that reason, I support it.”

Cuomo’s statement comes as protesters across the country have vandalized or taken down statues of Columbus. Protesters in Richmond and Boston attacked statues of Columbus on Tuesday night.

The statue in Richmond was set on fire and thrown into a lake, while the Boston statue was found headless Wednesday morning. (RELATED: The Cities And States That Jettisoned Christopher Columbus)

Seven people were arrested in Miami earlier this week for allegedly vandalizing statues of Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de León. Protesters allegedly spray painted “BLM” (“Black Lives Matter”) and the communist hammer-and-sickle symbol on the statues.