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Christopher Columbus statue near Connecticut Capitol removed

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Crews removed a statue of Christopher Columbus from its pedestal about a block from the state Capitol in Connecticut early Monday morning amid national conversations about the explorer's legacy. 

Photos and videos showed the statue being taken down as the sun rose over Hartford. It had been there since 1926, news outlets reported.

City leaders said the statue would be placed in storage until a decision is made on what to do next. The monument was located in an area called “Columbus Green.” It was unclear if it would be renamed.

The move comes less than a week after a statue of Columbus was taken down in New Haven, sparking clashes between protesters. Other Columbus statues in Middletown and New London have also been removed.

Columbus's legacy has been criticized in recent weeks as opponents characterize him as a symbol of white supremacy who sparked centuries of European oppression and the decimation of Indigenous peoples. Supporters value his historical contributions as an explorer and call his statues important symbols of Italian American heritage.

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