The Commercial Appeal

Parties fight over Columbus statue

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BUENOS AIRES — Workers with cranes have taken down a controvers­ial statue of Christophe­r Columbus in Argentina’s capital for restoratio­n.

The engineer in charge of the operation, Juan Arriegue, says the statue of the Italian explorer will be stored beneath its pedestal behind the Government House.

The statue has become a political flashpoint between the leftist government of President Cristina Fernandez and conservati­ve Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri.

Fernandez’s government sought to have the statue moved and replaced by a statue of guerrilla leader Juana Azurduy donated by Bolivia.

Diplomacy: U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry, engaged in breakneck shuttle diplomacy to coax Israel and the Palestinia­ns back into peace talks, is flying to the West Bank on Sunday to have a third meeting in as many days with Palestinia­n President Mahmoud Abbas. That was seen as a sign that Kerry might believe there is a chance of bringing the two sides together.

Wire services

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