Former Providence Mayor Joe Paolino has bought the Christopher Columbus statue in the city for $50,000. He aims to preserve Italian-American history and prevent the statue from being melted down for scrap metal. In 2020, vandals were thwarted by police trying to tear down the Elmwood Avenue fixture, which was put in storage after it was vandalized several times. Providence Mayor Brett Smiley stated that Paolino’s ownership would provide important historical context and enable the next generation to understand Christopher Columbus’s full legacy. The money used to purchase the statue will go to the Elmwood neighborhood to install an alternative in its place.

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