Bill de Blasio to Remove Thomas Jefferson Statue from City Hall
Statue stood in Council chambers for 187 years
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to remove the historic statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall’s Council chambers.
The statue has stood in the same place for 187 years.
The New York Post reported:
“The city’s Public Design Commission — comprised of mayoral appointees — has listed ‘the long term loan’ of the 1833 painted plaster statue of the Declaration of Independence author to the New-York Historical Society on its ‘consent’ agenda for Monday."
According to a City Hall spokesman, the statue’s removal has not been scheduled for public debate, and the design commission would vote after its examined public comments.
A replica of the figure by sculptor Pierre-Jean David still remains in the Capitol Rotunda located in Washington, DC.
“This statue of Thomas Jefferson was the first full-length portrait statue placed in the U.S. Capitol Building. Its bronze medium was unusual in early 19th-century America, where the sculpture was more commonly carved in marble,” the Architect of the Capitol website read:
Thomas Jefferson is depicted in his best known role as author of the Declaration of Independence. He stands in a dynamic contrapposto pose with his right hand holding a quill pen. The pen’s tip points to Jefferson’s left hand, which holds the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s famous words, which are readable, were created by pressing type into the statue’s clay model. Two bound books—perhaps representing the collection that he donated to the Library of Congress—and a wreath, a symbol of victory, lie at his feet. The statue’s pedestal is composed of marble and granite, in contrasting colors. The front inscription reads “JEFFERSON.”
“The de Blasio administration will continue the progressive war on history as he, himself, fades away into a portrait on a City Hall wall,” Councilman Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island) said during an interview with the Post.
“I hope he is at least gone a couple hundred years before someone cancels him,” Borelli added.
According to a mayoral spokesman:
“The city would still own the plaster model, and the historical society would include it in educational exhibits and provide valuable historical context.”
Last year, Neon Nettle reported New York City's first lady Chirlane McCray, and wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, would decide the fate of the city's statues commemorating two of the nation's Founding Fathers.
The Mayor backed his decision to promote his wife's to a city commission focused on "racial justice and reconciliation" that will decide whether the statutes of Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should be removed.
“This is exactly the kind of thing that this new commission needs to examine,” de Blasio told reporters.