Italian-American activists say Chicago mayoral candidate has promised to return Columbus statues

Activists rallied Sunday in front of Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas' headquarters to demand a controversial piece of history be returned to Grant Park.

They said Vallas recently promised the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans that he will put the Christopher Columbus statues back in Grant Park and Arrigo Park. Vallas has not made that statement publicly, and his campaign did not return FOX 32 Chicago's requests for comment.


"The confusing thing is he's saying it behind closed doors, he's not saying it in public," said activist Frank Coconate. "We want clarification. We don't want to just go out there and support a guy that saying it behind closed doors because we've been let down in the past by [Mayor Lori] Lightfoot and other people."

The statues were taken down in 2020 when protesters tried to vandalize them. At the time, Lightfoot said the removal was temporary, but the statues remain in storage.