By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia judge ruled the contentious Christopher Columbus statue can stay at Marconi Plaza in South Philadelphia. Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick made the ruling Tuesday.

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She said the city’s decision to remove the statue last year was not supported by law and was based on insufficient evidence.

The City of Philadelphia says it’s disappointed in the decision and will explore all potential options, including an appeal.

The statue remains boxed up out of public view.

Last summer, the statue became a hotspot in the wake of George Floyd’s murder as protests against systemic racism and injustice swept the country.

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Protesters and supporters of Columbus clashed, sometimes violently, at Marconi Plaza.

Some of those trying to protect the statue were seen holding bats and guns as they stood guard.