New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the Christopher Columbus statue in New York City should not be taken down, as it is a symbol of Italian American appreciation.

Andrew Cuomo, Columbus, StatueScott Heins / Getty Images

Cuomo was asked about the statue, which is located at Columbus Circle, during a press conference, Thursday. A reporter asked Cuomo is if was "time for" the statue "to go."

"I understand the dialogue that has been going on for a number of years. The Christopher Columbus statue, in some ways, represents the Italian American legacy in this country. I understand the feelings about Christopher Columbus and some of his acts, which nobody would support," said Cuomo. "But the statue has come to represent and signify appreciation for the Italian American contribution to New York. For that reason, I support it."

Cuomo is of Italian descent.

Statues of historical figures with racist ideology across the globe have been taken down or vandalized by protesters in recent weeks. In Richmond, V.A., protesters threw a Columbus statue into the lake in the city’s Byrd Park. In Boston, a similar statue was decapitated. 

Similarly, the upcoming Columbus Day holiday has been renamed Indigenous People’s Day in several states, in response to the brutality of Columbus' actions.

[Via]