Kenney says he’ll seek removal of Columbus statue from Marconi Plaza

Christopher Columbus statue at Marconi Plaza in South Philadelphia
Photo credit Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

Kenney ordered a box put around the statue last week while he sought guidance from the Art Commission about whether it should stay. 

He’s now taken a more aggressive stance, saying he’ll ask that it be removed when the Commission meets in July. He’s seeking public comment through an online form.

The mayor says that reviewing what historical figures deserve to be commemorated in public spaces is part of the national reckoning over systemic racism. 

Columbus was revered for centuries as the “discoverer” of America, but more recent scholarship has highlighted his record of killing and enslaving Indigenous people. 

Kenney says there must be a way forward that allows Philadelphians to celebrate their heritage while respecting those from different backgrounds. 

The Friends of Marconi Plaza oppose the statue’s removal but declined to comment.