An Ohio town has offered to take unwanted statues of political figures from other cities.
David Lynch, the city manager of Newton Falls, Ohio, declared Newton Falls a “Statuary Sanctuary City” in a Saturday proclamation, obtained by local news outlets.
The proclamation declares “general amnesty” for statues of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, Patrick Henry, Francis Scott Key, Theodore Roosevelt and Christopher Columbus.
“The great leaders of our country and Western civilization, though flawed in many ways, have risen to great achievement such as the founding of our nation, the ending of slavery, establishment and protection of our national parks, the establishment of antitrust laws to protect our citizens from overaggressive monopolization of industry, and the discovery of the New World itself,” the proclamation reads.
The city is “volunteering to accept these statues of these great leaders and volunteering to accept these statues that have been removed throughout the USA and place them in a location of honor in our community.”
Lynch told Fox 8 that the city wants to “embrace the great leaders.”
“Yes, they had warts but they laid the foundation for what we have today,” he said.
Newton Falls’ proclamation comes as debates are arising across the country over whether statues and monuments for Confederate leaders and other problematic historical figures should remain erected.
The movement to take down Confederate statues was reignited after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died while in Minneapolis police custody. Protests erupted after his death, and some demonstrators took it upon themselves to vandalize or topple the monuments.