Giannini: Christopher Columbus Discovers Johnston

Christopher Columbus statue discovers Johnston

by Joanne Giannini. Photos by Ron Cece

In a compassionate move, former Mayor and Ambassador Joseph Paolino Jr. bought the stored Christopher Columbus statue for $50,000 and gifted the statue to Johnston after he purchased it from the city in March.

The unveiling of the Christopher Columbus statue at its new home in Johnston drew a crowd of several hundred people.  A ceremonial unveiling was held on Columbus Day to celebrate its new home. Gene Valicenti, WJAR and WPRO News celebrity, was Master of Ceremonies. Among the  speakers were Mayor Joseph Polisena Jr, Rep. Arthur Corvese and historian Pat Conley.

People in favor of the statue take pride in the statue, saying Columbus is a symbolic figure of Italian heritage.

The statue arrived in Johnston two weeks ago. To prevent further vandalism of the statue, the town of Johnston has set up a fence around the statue and a 24-hour security system.

It originally stood in the Elmwood section of Providence. The statue was put in storage in 2020 after it was vandalized with red paint multiple times.

A great part of the Italian heritage includes the tradition of honoring Columbus Day, and all the traditions that went along with it.  Generations have celebrated Columbus Day as a way of promoting the Italian contributions to America.

Below are some pictures commemorating the event…

Photos by Ron Cece


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