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.

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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.

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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.

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