New York Mayor Bill de Blasio joined state Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday in advocating that the famous statue of Christopher Columbus presiding over the central Columbus Circle rotunda remain standing.

Although less enthusiastic than Cuomo, who is strongly against the removal of the monument, the progressive De Blasio also advocates leaving things as they are.

The statue is being guarded by the police after attacks on several Columbus figures in different parts of the United States, as part of the anti-racist demonstrations taking place in the country.

This is by no means the first time that the Columbus Circle statue has been involved in controversy, as for years groups have repeatedly called for its removal because of Columbus’ role in colonizing the American continent and killing indigenous populations.

The statue was saved from burning in 2018, after a commission of experts created by De Blasio to review controversial monuments in the city recommended keeping it in place, although adding explanatory plaques to provide context and adding a monument dedicated to the Indians, a project that has not been implemented so far.

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