Preserve and Protect the Columbus Sculpture in Scotch Plains

This petition made change with 2,729 supporters!

I hope this letter finds you all well,

On Monday October 12, 1998, the Scotch Plains Community gathered around the Village Green and specifically for the dedication of a three-ton marble sculpture honoring Christoforo Colombo during its annual Columbus Day Festivities. Former State Senate President and Scotch Plains native Donald DiFrancesco called it, "a fabulous tribute to the work ethic of the entire community." The coordinator for the project and the Scotch Plains UNICO Chapter founder John Appezzato, described it as, "It's something that brought the town together." Between UNICO, the Knight of Columbus, and the Italian-American Club they raised $50,000 for the sculpture and shipped it from Italy (where it was sculpted), to Port Newark (like many of us who settled in New Jersey), and eventually to its home today at the Alan Augustine Village Green in Scotch Plains.

The design of the sculpture was done by Lennox Brown, an 18 year old African-American student from UCCC who crafted the brilliant design of the world's sphere into the palm of a hand symbolizing how Columbus saw the world as round and defying logic 500 years ago that he'd sail off the edge of the planet. 

It's hard to believe that almost 22 years later, this sculpture is in danger of being taken down. The proponents of such a move would rather push a narrative that Columbus was a conqueror and not the explorer who represents the journey so many immigrants, Italian or not, made in order to come to this country and make this land their new home in search of a better life. I'm asking you today to sign this petition to show Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo, who asked that the sculpture's place in Scotch Plains be deliberated at the next Township Council meeting Tuesday July 21st at 7:00 pm. Let's show him that we support this gift to the community from 22 years ago and what it truly means for Italian Americans and all immigrants alike. Let us support the inscription at the bottom of the sculpture that reads, "Every man in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy he, who acts the Columbus to
his own soul." 

Thank you,

Joe Sarno

Proud Member of UNICO and Scotch Plains resident

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