A statue of Thomas Jefferson was removed from New York City’s City Hall after 187 years on display.
After complaints that the statue made employees, notably those who were people of color, uncomfortable, the city’s Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation worked towards its removal. The commission was led by outgoing mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife, Charlene McCray. It was removed on Monday.
Talk of removing the statue began in the summer of 2020, following the death of George Floyd. According to the Smithsonian, Jefferson owned more than 600 slaves throughout his life. This controversy hasn’t sat well with many, leading to the push for the removal of his statue.
The city’s Public Design Commission began planning to remove the statue without holding a public hearing, even voting on it before it was discovered by the New York Post. After the information became public in October, a hearing was held to determine the statue’s fate. The commission approved removal plans in mid-November following the hearing.
On Monday, art handlers arrived at city hall, ready to move the 884-pound statue. The removal took several hours and about a dozen workers. It was transported to the New York Historical Society, where it will be displayed on a long-term loan.
ARTICLE: RITA VOGT
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NEW YORK POST
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