NYC City Hall Removes 187-Year-Old Statue Of Thomas Jefferson

This is not the statue in the story. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Taylor Penley Contributor
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The New York City Council Chamber voted to remove a historic statue of former President Thomas Jefferson, citing his history as a slave owner.

The statue, commissioned by a U.S. Navy commodore in 1833, spent 187 years in the City Council’s chambers before being removed from its pedestal Monday, according to the New York Post.

Approximately a dozen Marshall Fine Arts workers surrounded the structure with wooden and foam boards before using a pulley system to lower it into the downstairs rotunda and carrying it out the back door, the Post reported. (RELATED: REPORT: Bill De Blasio Getting Rid Of Thomas Jefferson Statue In City Hall).

“Removing a monument without a public conversation about why it’s happening is useless. New Yorkers all need to talk about who we want to honor and why,” Erin Thompson, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said of the removal, according to the outlet.

“Moving this statue doesn’t mean New Yorkers will forget who Thomas Jefferson was — but some of them might learn from the controversy that the man who wrote ‘all men are created equal’ owned over 600 of his fellow humans,” she added.

The vote to remove the structure was split among councilmembers, with some, such as Staten Island Republican Councilman Joe Borelli objecting.

“This is more progressive war on history,” Borelli said, according to New York Daily News.

“Why wasn’t this put on the consent calendar? I thought we were having this big public discussion about monuments. Apparently not,” he continued.

The statue will be housed in the New York Historical Society indefinitely.