The white marble fragments of Baltimore’s Columbus statute, unceremoniously dumped into the Jones Falls by protesters last July 4, have been handed over to the original owner, the Italian American Organizations United.
The IAOU had retrieved the broken pieces from the harbor and moved them to a private warehouse for safekeeping. But the pieces still were the property of the city, donated by the group when the Columbus Piazza was opened on President Street in 1984.
Today the Board of Estimates reverted rights to the statue back to the IAOU, conceding that the public display of the statue was no longer practical.
Voting against the agreement was City Council President Brandon M. Scott.
His spokesperson, Stefanie Mavronis, said Scott had opposed the display of Columbus statutes since Baltimore’s Confederate monuments were removed from their pedestals in 2017.
Today’s decision will enable the IAOU to secure grant funding for the statue.
• Goodbye, Columbus (7/4/20)