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Christopher Columbus statues in Chicago temporarily removed

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Two statues of Christopher Columbus in the US city of Chicago have been temporarily removed after protesters attempted to topple one of them last week, the media reported.

In a statement on Friday, the office of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that the Columbus statues in Grant Park and Arrigo Park had been “temporarily removed… until further notice” on her orders, reports the BBC.

Although temporary, they are the latest monuments to be removed amid an ongoing backlash against perceived symbols of racial bias and imperialism in the US.

The movement has been sparked by the May 25 death in police custody of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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Last month, 10-ft bronze statue of Columbus was toppled in Saint Paul, Minnesota, while another in Boston, which stands on a plinth at the heart of town, was beheaded.

Many people in the US celebrate the memory of the Italian explorer, who in many textbooks is credited with discovering “the New World” in the 15th Century.

But Native American activists and others have long objected to honouring Columbus, saying his expeditions led to the colonisation and genocide of their ancestors.

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