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Columbus statues removed as debate triggered over symbols of racism and oppression

STATUES of Christopher Columbus are being taken down in a number of US cities with one in Boston decapitated as protesters demand the removal of symbols of racism and oppression.

The city of Camden, close to Philadelphia, released a statement late on Thursday explaining that they had taken down the statue in Farnham Park calling it a “controversial symbol” that has “long pained residents of the community.”

It comes after similar statues have been pulled down or damaged in cities including Miami, Richmond and St Paul in Minnesota by protesters in the wake of the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

It has triggered global protests, with statues torn down in cities around the world, including King Leopold II in Belgium whom many historians hold responsible for the deaths of 10 million people at the hands of colonial authorities in the Belgian Congo.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged Congress earlier this week to remove 11 statues from the US Capitol representing Confederate leaders and soldiers from the civil war.

“Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed,” she said.

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