JCCIA files suit to restore statue to Arrigo Park

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The Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans has filed a complaint in the Chancery Court of Cook County against the Chicago Park District in an effort to return the Columbus statue to its original location in Arrigo Park.

“On July 24, 2020, it is believed that Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the removal of the city’s three Columbus statues, claiming it as a safety measure during protests and civil unrest,” the JCCIA noted in a press release. “It was to be ‘temporary,’ and the JCCIA’s position is that a year is long enough.”

“We have reached out to the park district and to the city on several occasions, including a formal letter and 10-exhibit outline of our position, with no response from either,” JCCIA President Ron Onesti notes. “We have been respectful, communicative and resourceful. Their lack of response has made litigation unavoidable.”

The JCCIA has filed a one-count complaint regarding performance of a contract executed between the Chicago Park District and the Columbus Statue Committee in October 1973. (The JCCIA is the successor in interest to the Columbus Statue Committee.) The complaint seeks to compel the Chicago Park District to perform its obligations under the terms of the contract and return the Christopher Columbus statue to Arrigo Park where it had stood since 1966.


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