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Wilmington City Council to consider requesting permanent removal of controversial statues

Courtesy of the City of Wilmington
The statue of Christopher Columbus was removed last summer from a park on Delaware Ave.

Wilmington’s statues of Christopher Columbus and Caesar Rodney remain in limbo after being taken down amid racial justice protests last summer. Wilmington City Council will likely weigh in on what to do with them. 

Council will consider a resolution urging the Administration not to return the statues of Columbus and Declaration of Independence signer—and slave owner—Caesar Rodney to their original locations in the city. 

The City took them down and placed them in storage last summer, fearing they’d be damaged in protests—like other statues of Christopher Columbus were across the country. 

The Mayor’s office originally said storage of the statues would allow for community discussions about their future, but no formal conversations have been held. 

During a committee meeting Tuesday, Council President Trippi Congo emphasized Columbus and Rodney’s violence toward people of color, and noted the population of Wilmington is majority Black and brown. 

“To put those statues back in a public place I think would be a huge mistake—not necessarily to the statues, but for the emotional trauma that it could bring to our residents,” he said. 

“It would be a slap in the face of the Black and brown community to put those statues back up,” agreed Councilwoman Shané Darby. “Put them in a museum—I don’t really care what happens—put them in a museum so people who want to go look at them can go look at them.”

Other council members also voiced support for the resolution, but said Council should be specific about where they do—and don’t—want to see the statues end up. 

Several members of the public also said they support the resolution and offered to help organize the community around the issue. 

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office declined to comment. 

The resolution will likely come to a vote next Thursday.


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