COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus Arts Commission on Wednesday voted to approve the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue located on the south plaza of City Hall.

The Commission responded to Mayor Andrew Ginther’s call last week for the statue to be removed.

“The Mayor determined that the will of the people made it imperative to resolve to remove the Christopher Columbus statue from the lawn of City Hall for its painful symbolism to some people, and with respect for the families who have supported the friendship we have with our Sister City, Genoa,” said Columbus Arts Commission Chair Diane Nance. “We will move forward with citizen input on new art work to be placed at City Hall.”

Mayor Ginther also requested a public process to determine how to best replace the statue with an artwork that better reflects the people of Columbus.

The Commission said it supports Mayor Ginther in his commitment to find a replacement for the statue with public input and participation that is diverse and inclusive. 

The group will meet as frequently as necessary to ensure a process is in place for citizens to speak.   Mayor Ginther has also charged the Commission with undertaking a review of the city’s art collection to determine its diversity and inclusiveness, as well as undertaking a review of other city symbols, including the Flag and city seal.

“I am grateful to the Columbus Arts Commission for its willingness to lead a community conversation that is inclusive and diverse,” said Michael Stevens, Director of the Department of Development.