A bust of Christopher Columbus was ordered to be removed from its pedestal in Detroit on Monday by Mayor Mike Duggan, according to Click On Detroit. The decision was made in response to a series of protests against racism and police brutality throughout the city.
The bust will likely be placed into storage until the city decides what to do with it over the long-term. For years, the bust had been targeted by vandals and in recent weeks, other cities have also removed their Columbus monuments, either by a city council or at the hands of protestors.
Detroit no longer celebrates Columbus Day, instead designating that as a holiday called Indigenous Peoples' Day.
The US has had longstanding debates surrounding monuments of controversial figures. In particular, those of the Civil War who fought on the Confederate side have come under fire. The recent nation-wide protests have resulted in the vandalizing, removal, and in some cases toppling down, of several Confederate monuments, as well as those dedicated to abolitionists and black Civil War soldiers. This has lead to the removal of other controversial historical figures around the world.
Demonstrators in Bristol, England, took down a statue of Edward Colston, a 17th-century slave trader before throwing it into the harbour. Bristol authorities said the statue will be recovered and placed in a museum. Similarly in Hamilton, New Zealand, a bronze statue John Hamilton, a British naval captain who was accused of killing people of the indigenous Maori tribe during the 1860's. Protestors in London also vandalized statues of Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill.
Several statues of Confederate army leaders have been removed or vandalized, in the wake of George Floyd's murder by a Minneapolis police officer, such as Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee.