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Queens Chronicle

Controversial statue Brooklyn bound?

‘Civic Virtue’ could be removed

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:47 am, Thu Jul 26, 2012.

New York City officials are neither confirming nor denying a published report that a controversial statue will be moved to Brooklyn from its home near Queens Borough Hall.

“Triumph of Civic Virtue” was unveiled in 1922 at City Hall and banished to Queens during the LaGuardia Administration. Created by American sculptor Frederick MacMonnies in 1919, it depicts a nearly nude man with a sword towering over two women.

Many people, including several public and elected officials, have objected to the statue as sexist. The sculpture also has fallen into disrepair over the past few decades.

A published report claims that the city’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services is planning to relocate the statue to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and have it restored with private funds.

While MacMonnies is not interred at Green-Wood, members of his family are. The artist, who died in 1937, is buried in Westchester County.

No exact timetable has been set for any relocation, and a DCAS spokeswoman said Wednesday that there has not yet been any decision.

“The city is looking into options that preserve the sculpture and best serve the community,” according to the statement.

The statue sits at the corner of Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike not far from Borough Hall. While Borough President Helen Marshall has been a critic of the statue in the past, she is disappointed over the idea of relocating it to Brooklyn.

“The statue of ‘Civic Virtue’ has been an on and off again controversy almost since the time it was unveiled 90 years ago at City Hall,” Marshall noted in a statement issued by her office. “I am grateful and glad that ‘Civic Virtue’ will be restored, but disappointed that the restoration will not take place at the current site.”

Marshall said it could be replaced with a public plaza dedicated to notable women from Queens, such as the late Congresswoman and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro.

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