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Christopher Columbus Statue To Remain On Ohio Statehouse Grounds For Now

Christopher Columbus statue at the Ohio Statehouse
Farnoush Amiri
The process to remove this statue of Christopher Columbus, shown Thursday, July 16, 2020, outside the Ohio Statehouse will take at least five years.

State officials say a statue of Christopher Columbus will not be removed from in front of the Ohio Statehouse until at least 2025.

The 9-foot-tall, copper statue of Columbus will remain erected in front of the Statehouse in downtown Columbus, the largest city that bears the explorer’s name, until a formal process for removal is undergone by the agency that manages the grounds.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board voted to draft rules for the first time that would outline a policy of removing a statue or monument off the Statehouse grounds. An individual or group may come forward with a proposal at the next board meeting in October.

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R-Glenford), who chairs the board, says proposals to remove statues should provide an explanation of why a statue should no longer be on the Statehouse grounds. Groups that want a statue removed will also have to pay for its removal.

“I think if you have a groundswell of folks out there that want something done, I think they would they would be able to come forward to that," Householder says. "And I doubt that it costs as much money to have something removed is as it would have to put it up there."

If removal is approved, an architect or engineer would estimate the cost of taking down and storing a statue as well as restoring the site.

The board said the policy to remove a statue mirrors the one to put up a monument, though the last one erected, the Holocaust Memorial, took three years from proposal to completion.

The statue of the explorer at Statehouse is the only one remaining in Columbus. The city and Columbus State Community College removed two other statues of the explorer last month.