New push to remove Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) - The statue of Christopher Columbus that has been in Tower Grove Park for more than 130 years is again the focus of a petition to be taken away. 

On June 11, a new petition on Change.org was started in favor of having the statue removed due because "Christopher Columbus was not a hero or great explorer. He was a war criminal who raped, tortured, pillaged, and murdered the people indigenous to the land he stole."

It has more than 2,400 signatures, as of Monday afternoon, to remove the statue near Grand Avenue by the entrance of the park.

Last September, a park commission was set up to rule on the future of the statue in the St. Louis park. It allowed the statue to stay and said signs with more historical information about Columbus, along with the history of the park, would be added. The commission was made up of three Native American representatives, two Italian-American representatives, and people from the Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Art Museum, the National Park Service, Black Lives Matter, and the "activist community."

There's a protest planned for June 23 when the Tower Grove Park Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet at Piper Palm House.

The new petition also mentions the "current momentum for racial justice" as a reason for this request to be reconsidered. 

There have been viral videos in recent news of communities tearing down statues of white men who had a history of slavery and there's been a push to have the names of military bases named after Confederate Army leaders changed.

The mayor of a city in Connecticut announced that he would have a statue of Christopher Columbus relocated to prevent more damage after seeing similar statues in other cities beheaded.

There has been debate across the nation over Columbus’ legacy. Some value his historical contributions as an explorer, and others contest he is a symbol of the conquest and subjugation of indigenous people.

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