Christopher Columbus statues taken down in Trenton, Pennsauken

TRENTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Christopher Columbus statues have been taken down in two New Jersey cities.

The statue Christopher Columbus is no longer standing in the city of Trenton amid criticism over the explorer's controversial legacy.

The city took down the statue Wednesday morning at the north end of Columbus Park.

The statue has been wrapped in a tarp since it was vandalized three weeks ago.

Mayor Reed Gusciora said Christopher Columbus was a controversial figure and is not representative of the ideals our nation was founded on.

The statue will be placed in storage while a more fitting home is decided.

The park will also be renamed.

Full statement from Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora:
"The current national debate on racial justice has led to a long-overdue examination of how we honor our past, including our statues, monuments, and the names of our parks and schools. Our communities rightfully expect that the individuals we celebrate actually represent the principles of freedom and equality that we all hold dear.

The statue of Christopher Columbus, long held in the park of the same name, will be taken down and placed in storage. We're grateful for the community input we've received on both sides of the issue, but what we know about Columbus simply makes his image a poor fit for a city that is as diverse as Trenton. We will continue to engage the community on where the statue should go and what the new name of the park will be."

A concrete slab is all that is left to show where Pennsauken's Columbus statue once stood.

Crews removed the monument from Cooper River Park along North Park Drive Tuesday night.

Camden County Freeholders announced plans last month to move the statue to a private location and replace it with new artwork.

EMBED More News Videos

A concrete slab is all that is left to show where Pennsauken's Christopher Columbus statue once stood.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.