Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis was critical of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s intention to create a commission to consider removing statues and other public art honoring Confederate soldiers and other public figures whose actions are regarded as dishonorable. Responding to a series of questions from Erin Durkin of the Daily News and Yoav Gonen of the Post, Malliotakis asserted that de Blasio’s announced intention has “caused tremendous division in our City” and that he’s acted solely to seek publicity. She later said, however, that de Blasio should not have announced his intended review, but instead should have had “individuals quietly go around the City” to look at and consider public art for removal.
Malliotakis also criticized de Blasio’s stated 90 day goal for the review, noting that the timeframe places completion after November’s election. She demanded that any such review be completed and announced before the election. Asked for her view on several specific statues Malliotakis said that she believes the statue of Christopher Columbus (who she errantly referred to as “the founder of our nation”) in Columbus Circle should stay.