NEW YORK (CBSNew York) – The Thomas Jefferson statue at City Hall has been the source of an ongoing debate.
A city panel voted to remove it on Monday, CBS2’s Kevin Rincon reported.
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The 7-foot statue has been in Town Hall since 1834. For 20 years, efforts have been made to have it removed, an effort led by MPs Charles Barron and his wife, City Councilor Inez Barron.
“When we remove this statue, we are taking a step in the right direction in erasing the honor of those who have violated,” said Charles Barron.
“We are not revisionists. We are not making war on history. We say we want the total to be told, not half truths, and we don’t lie, ”added Inez Barron.
The NYC Public Design Commission has voted to remove the Thomas Jefferson statue from inside the council chamber before the end of the year and will continue debate during this time on where it will ultimately be moved.
– Kevin Rincon (@KevRincon) October 18, 2021
The Public Design Commission listened to the arguments for three hours before deciding to remove the statue from the council chamber. But where to put it, well, that’s still up for debate.
Historian Todd Fine said it should be moved to the Governor’s Room, where it was originally displayed.
“He was there for about seven to eight decades, until he was transferred to the Council Chamber. So it could easily be moved there without intimidating council members who have a problem with it, ”Fine said.
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Another proposal is to move it to the city’s oldest museum, the New York Historical Society.
“I believe it is time for the city to turn the page and move forward. We now have the opportunity to do this by moving the statue to the New York Historical Society, where the full story of Thomas Jefferson will be told in context, ”said Council member Adrienne Adams.
But even that created problems.
“Approve a loan of the statue to the Historical Society, which does not undertake to display the statue, will take the public artwork and hide it from public access for the foreseeable future. The app, itself, offers no justification for removing the statue from public space to where it stood for 106 years, ”said Robert Loscalzo.
“We have to tackle the human condition and the human faults and get it out of there, the Council Chamber. Put him somewhere in a public space because his ideas are public property and at least one statue should be too, ”said Raymond Lavertue.
“The artwork is owned by the city and must be kept in the building,” Fine added.
There was an agreement to bring this statue out of the council chamber, but the committee will need time to work out what to do next. He said he would make a decision on where to move it by the end of the year.
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Kevin Rincon of CBS2 contributed to this report.