A statue of explorer Christopher Columbus was found beheaded in a Yonkers park this week. The head of the bronze-colored statue was discovered next to a plastic bag in Columbus Memorial Park, which is a mile north of the Bronx.
Pat Gamberdella, a lifelong resident of the area, called the police when he noticed the head missing and he didn’t seem too happy. “It’s very upsetting that American values have sunken to the level they are today,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because I did go up there and I did see it all smashed.”
Yonker police believe the incident could have been done by juveniles overnight. They are also considering that it could be in response to the protests and counter protests of Confederate statues being taken down across the country. Since the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, more attention is being brought to statues that symbolize a history of White supremacy and slavery. In New York City, some groups are pushing for the Columbus Circle statue to be taken down. Also, in Central Park, a statue of a doctor who operated on slave women is under fire.
One woman, Chantel Cleckley, believes the Yonkers statue should be removed but in a more sanctioned way. “I think it should be taken down, but I don’t think going about it and defacing it is the way to do it,” she said. “That just makes the other side angry.” Important note, the Robert E. Lee statute that was removed in Charlottesville, Virginia, was done via a vote from their City Council in February.