Lawsuit seeks return of Columbus statue to Chicago park

CHICAGO (AP) — An Italian-American organization has filed a lawsuit seeking to force the Chicago Park District to return a Christopher Columbus statue to its pedestal in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood.

The statue, and two others, were removed last year after demonstrators swarmed a Columbus statue in Grant Park in a failed attempt to tear it down.

The lawsuit filed by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans claims the removal of the Columbus monument in Little Italy violates a nearly 50-year-old agreement the group has with the Park District.

Organization president Ron Onesti says the agreement says any alterations of the statue or plaza must have the written consent of the Columbus Statue Committee, a precursor to his organization.