Statement from Angelo Vivolo, President of Columbus Heritage Coalition Inc., on Mayor De Blasio’s Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers
NEW YORK, NY — Heritage and traditions are what built America. America’s diversity is manifest in the varied immigrant communities who honor their ancestral heroes through celebrations, monuments and otherwise. As members of the Italian-American community, we are committed to protecting and preserving our past.
We applaud today’s recommendation from the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers to preserve the Christopher Columbus statue at Columbus Circle. Christopher Columbus exemplifies who we are and what we had to overcome as a community, and that is why keeping the statue of him in place is so critical.
We also commend the Commission for supporting an Indigenous Peoples’ statue in Central Park to display their heritage and tell their story. We strongly believe that everyone’s heritage should be honored and hailed.
However, the recommendation to create a plaque near the Columbus statue that depicts our hero in a negative light is unwelcome and offensive. That action would symbolize a threat to every ethnic group in our nation that wishes to publically commemorate one of their own.
As Italian-Americans, we will avail ourselves of any and all legal, political, and legislative initiatives to challenge any attempts made to alter the Christopher Columbus statue, which has universally served as a symbol of ethnic pride to all generations of Italian-Americans.
The Vivolo Restaurant Group
Vivolo | Cucina Vivolo