ISDA Wins First Court Battle Involving Pittsburgh’s Columbus Statue

The Christopher Columbus statue in Schenley Park is safe for now, but the fight isn't over.

By: ISDA Staff

On Friday, when Mayor Bill Peduto backed the Pittsburgh Art Commission’s decision to remove the Columbus statue from Schenley Park, the Italian American community didn’t smash windows or light fires.

Rather, Basil M. Russo, President of Italian Sons and Daughters of America — and the ISDA legal team led by attorney George Bochetto — secured a temporary injunction in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas that will block the city from removing the statue.

Watch the new documentary, Courage and Conviction: The True Story of Christopher Columbus, which was filmed by the National Columbus Education Foundation and co-produced by ISDA.

The Italian American community saved for decades to collect the $65,000 needed to build the 50-foot bronze and marble monument, and it is ISDA’s goal to secure a permanent ruling that would reverse the removal altogether.

Donate to our GoFundMe page today and help us save the Schenley Park statue.

Instead of showing the courage necessary to honor our country’s history, and to acknowledge the contributions to the City of Pittsburgh by the Italian American community, Mayor Peduto allowed himself to be bullied by the actions of lawbreakers who have used violence in other cities to intimidate public officials into erasing America’s history. This will not stand. -Basil M. Russo

Our History

Columbus Day has become synonymous with Italian Heritage Day, the time when we remember the sacrifices made by our parents and grandparents, and the contributions Italian Americans have made in the U.S.

The time-honored Columbus Day parades began in the late 1800s as Italian immigrants attempted to create a sense of self-esteem and dignity during a period where they were subjected to lynchings, bigotry and prejudice throughout the country.

Columbus’s journey launched 500 years of immigration to America, attracting peoples from throughout the world seeking a better life for their families — this is the spirit we champion and are fighting to preserve, and this is what the Columbus statues stand for.

Our Stance

The Italian-American community has always supported the designation of an Indigenous Peoples Day as it is most rightly and most justly deserved.

What we don’t support is the agenda of those who want to rewrite our history, and in the process, diminish our traditions by targeting the 15th century explorer.

Related news: White House Issues Columbus Day Proclamation


(Photo credit: Piotrus)


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