"Arafat, alive and breathing or with wax in his lungs, does not belong in any venue in New York," state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said in a state Tuesday.
An Orthodox Jew, Hikind is one of 56 lawmaker who signed a petition calling for the removal of Arafat's statue from Madame Tussaud's was museum.
Pataki says he's not sure what powers the state might have to remove the statue. But he says, "I would certainly urge that a flattering portrayal of Yasser Arafat has no place in New York, in my view has no place anywhere."
Janine Scarpello, the museum's general manager, said Madame Tussaud's museum simply chronicles history and current events.
"The decision to portray an individual is irrespective of any political or religious stance," she said in a statement.
There was no comment from the mayor's press office.
© MMI Viacom Internet Services Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report