CLEVELAND (WJW) — A petition was started on Change.org to replace the statue of Christopher Columbus in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood with one of Chef Boyardee.
Currently, the petition to Cleveland City Council and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has more than 200 signatures.
**Watch the video above for more on the removal of the Columbus statue at Columbus State Community College**
“It’s time for Cleveland to tear down its statue to a genocidal sociopath with a bowl cut and erect a statue to an immigrant success story who enriched our community with his food and iconic mustache,” the petition reads.
The statue of Columbus has sat in Tony Brush Park since 1988 and reads, “Discoverer of America.”
Ettore “Hector” Boiardi was born in Italy and immigrated to the United States in 1914. After a few years working as a chef in New York City, he moved to Cleveland and opened his first restaurant, Giardino d’ Italia.
The sauces were so popular many customers asked to take them home so Boiardi would put marinara in milk bottles. That evolved into his prepared meal company and the canned pasta empire we know today. He died at his home in Parma at the age of 87.
The petition comes as more cities and institutions move to remove statues of Columbus, as well as Confederate monuments.
In Columbus, Mayor Andrew Ginther announced last week the statue of the Italian explorer and slave trader at city hall would be placed into storage.
After being vandalized, Columbus State Community College also removed its Columbus statue.