Watch CBS News

City Panel Votes To Remove Thomas Jefferson Statue At City Hall

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Thomas Jefferson statue at City Hall has been the source of an ongoing debate.

On Monday, a city panel voted to remove it, CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported.

The 7-foot statue has been at City Hall since 1834. For the last 20 years there's been an effort to get it removed, an effort led by Assemblymen Charles Barron and his wife, Councilwoman Inez Barron.

"When we remove this statue, we're making a step in the right direction for erasing honoring of those who murdered and raped us," Charles Barron said.

"We're not being revisionist. We're not waging a war on history. We're saying that we want to make sure that the total story is told," Inez Barron added.

The Public Design Commission listened to arguments for three hours before deciding to remove the statue from the Council chambers. But where to put it, well, that is still up for debate.

Historian Todd Fine said it should be moved to the Governor's Room, where it was originally displayed.

"It was there for about seven to eight decades, until it was moved to the Council chambers. So, it could easily be moved back there without necessarily intimidating the Council members who have a problem with it," Fine said.

Another proposal is to move it to the city's oldest museum, the New York Historical Society.

"I believe it's time for us as a city to turn the page and move forward. We now have the opportunity to do that by moving the statue to the New York Historical Society, where the full story of Thomas Jefferson will be told in context," Council member Adrienne Adams said.

But even that created issues.

"Approving a loan of the statue to the Historical Society, which is not committed to ever display the statue, will effectively take what is now public artwork and conceal it from public access for the foreseeable future," Robert Loscalzo said.

"Put him somewhere in a public space because his ideas are public property and at least one statue should be as well," Raymond Lavertue said.

There was an agreement to get that statue out of the Council chambers, but the commission will need some time to figure out what to do next. It said it'll make a decision on where to move it by the end of the year.

CBS2's Kevin Rincon contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.