Protesters in Richmond, Virginia, toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus into a pond in the city’s Byrd Park Tuesday night. As protests continue in the wake of the alleged murder of George Floyd, some demonstrators have turned their attention to once-lauded figures who have been reevaluated since the monuments to them were erected. The action in Richmond echoes the dismantling of an Antwerp statue of Leopold II, known for colonizing and exploiting the Congo, and one of the slave trader Edward Colston in London. The same day in Richmond, a lawsuit stayed the proposed removal of a statue of the Confederate leader Robert E. Lee. Several days prior, activists tore down a statue of Confederate general Williams Carter Wickham.
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