ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park is gone. It stood at the entrance of the St. Louis park for 140 years.
Construction crews were at the site of the statue Tuesday morning after the park board gave the O.K. to remove the statue. There was also a small crowd of people at the park, who began shouting at each other after the statue had been taken away.
There was no violence and people kept their distance from each other, but there were some strong emotions on display as some began to chant "bring him down" in support of the statue being removed.
Another man who was against it, called the people chanting "embarrassments to America" and when another man claimed that he was Italian the other man shouted back, "I don't give a **** if you're Italian or not, leave the man's statue where it was."
In a statement, the park says the statue "symbolizes a historical disregard for indigenous peoples and cultures and destruction of their communities. Tower Grove Park celebrates the diversity of our community every day and serves as the centerpiece of the region’s most vibrant neighborhoods."
A statement was released by the park:
It had 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."