Who should replace Christopher Columbus statue at Coit Tower? San Francisco weighs in

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Christopher Columbus statue in front of San Francisco's Coit Tower came down last Thursday and the suggestion line for what to put in its place then opened up.

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"Well the first idea is to get another Italian American up here who isn't quite as controversial as Christopher Columbus and one of the least controversial suggestions is St. Francis of Assisi, which the city is named after," said San Francisco Chronicle Insider and ABC7 News contributor Phil Matier, who reports that Supervisor Aaron Peskin is taking suggestions. He says Peskin is hearing a wide variety of ideas.

"Another one is Garibaldi. He was the uniter of Italy. And another possibility, Nancy Pelosi, who is an Italian American and probably one of the most prominent Italian Americans we have ever had," Matier reports.

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Another idea is to move the firefighter statue from Washington Square and place it in front of Coit Tower.

We asked people strolling through Washington Square for their opinions.

"I think we should do something that is more responsive to indigenous people perhaps have some sort of community meeting maybe at the Italian Social Club that talks openly about what some of the issues are from some of the folks that felt really disenfranchised by Christopher Columbus," said Patricia Perkins.

"If they could find an Ohlone woman, that would be even better," she added.

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Another idea is to put Columbus back on his perch but include the whole story.

"Keep up the statues, but put up something explaining what happened," said Christopher Smith.

Matier says don't expect to see a replacement any time soon because of cost and the difficulty of getting everyone to agree.
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