Culture Wars/Current Controversies

A statue of Thomas Jefferson is removed from New York City Hall after 187 years

The statue, which is a plaster replica of the original, according to the city, was removed from its pedestal Monday. The process took several hours, and the 7-foot statue was transported in a wooden crate to the New-York Historical Society, where it will be on a long-term loan. Several cities have made moves to remove controversial statues tied to Confederate symbols and leaders connected to slavery.
Last month, the city’s Public Design Commission voted 8-0 in favor of relocating the statue, due to Jefferson’s history as a slave owner.
“Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder who owned over 600 human beings,” Councilmember Adrienne Adams, co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, said in a presentation last month. “It makes me deeply uncomfortable knowing that we sit in the presence of a statue that pays homage to a slaveholder who fundamentally believed that people who look like me were inherently inferior, lacked intelligence, and were not worthy of freedom or right.”

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