NORWICH — Outrage over depictions of Christopher Columbus and other controversial historical figures hasn’t swept into Norwich like it has in other communities.
The monument bearing a sculpture of the face of the Italian explorer – some would say invader – along with the names of 400 Italians who settled in and helped shape the city of Norwich, stands serenely on Chelsea Parade across from Norwich Free Academy.
It’s less tribute to Columbus than it is homage to the men and women of Italian descent who put down roots in the Rose City, its supporters say. That’s demonstrated in an inscription at its base.
“It translates loosely to, ‘We honor our parents,'” Italian Heritage and Cultural Committee of Norwich President Frank Jacaruso said days before the city hosted its annual Taste of Italy festival.
Columbus has been credited in history books for being the first European to discover the Americas. But opponents say he did more to harm the indigenous people inhabiting the West Indies starting when he first arrived in 1492.
But officials here have heard no great desire for the 25-year-old monument bearing his likeness to be removed or changed.
“I would hope that people are proud of it,” Alderman H. Tucker Braddock, who serves on the City Council’s Monuments Committee, said. “Monuments are a piece of our history and reflect on the time that was. History is history and hopefully we can learn from it and be a better community.”
And his accomplishments as an explorer outweigh his more controversial moves for Maxwell Moran, 17, of Plainfield.
“In my eyes he’s more of a good guy, he…
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