City and Italian Federation To Relocate Columbus Statue in City of Buffalo

The Federation of Italian-American Societies of WNY in a proactive measure announces the removal of the Christopher Columbus monument from Columbus Park. This was done at the behest of the Federation and the Federation only.  The
Italian Federation would like to recognize and thank Mayor Byron Brown for his
dedicated efforts and steadfast support for our Federation and the Italian-American
Community of WNY. Mayor Brown’s leadership was critical to the Federation’s
successful efforts on this issue to provide a positive example of peaceful change in
our community.
While the Columbus monument was erected by the Federation to recognize and
honor the early struggles faced by Italian immigrants in the United States, it is the
desire of the current Federation to dedicate a new monument that reflects the
positive history of the Italian immigrant experience.
Our WNY community is comprised of a wonderfully interwoven mosaic of rich and
varied cultures and traditions. Our decision to remove the monument is in keeping
with our community’s tradition of cultural unity through diversity. In that vein, the
Federation has made the following requests which have been accepted by Mayor
Brown: 1) The City will restore ownership of the Columbus statue to the Federation
(who originally paid for and erected the statue in the 1930’s), 2) The Columbus
statue will be stored at a location as selected by the Federation and the City of
Buffalo, until future display at location determined by the Federation. 3) The
Columbus statue is to be replaced at the current park location with a monument to
be commissioned by the Federation with City approval, honoring our Italian
immigrants, 4) The park will be renamed in dedication to Italian-American Heritage,
as the West Side for one hundred years had been the “Historic Little Italy of
Buffalo”. The name will be chosen by the Federation in consultation with the city to
ensure a park that is welcoming to members of all cultures of WNY, and 5) the City
of Buffalo will annually recognize the second Monday of October (October 12 th this
year) as Italian Heritage Day and the month of October as Italian Heritage Month as
is currently recognized throughout the State of New York.