Jefferson's Statue Removed in NY After Workers Complain it Fails to Represent 'Contemporary Values'

© AP Photo / Ted ShaffreyA statue of Thomas Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence stands in New York's City Hall Council Chamber on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
A statue of Thomas Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence stands in New York's City Hall Council Chamber on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.11.2021
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Members of the City Council were divided about the removal of the statue, with some claiming that the move was "sidelining history".
A statue of America's third president, Thomas Jefferson, was removed from City Hall in New York on Monday after workers had complained that the slave-owning president made them uncomfortable.
The monument was packed into a wooden crate before it was taken down and relocated in the lobby of the New York Historical Society.
The request to remove Jefferson's statue originally came from the Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation, headed by outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife Chirlane McCray, after black employees had complained about the statue of a slave owner.
After his wife's initiative, De Blasio wrote a letter to City Hall, which said:
"The statue of Thomas Jefferson in the City Council Chambers is inappropriate and serves as a constant reminder of the injustices that have plagued communities of color since the inception of our country ... Jefferson is America's most noted slave holder ... and a scholar who maintained that blacks were inferior to whites."
A new black resin and steel statue entitled A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020 by artist Marc Quinn stands after the statue was put up this morning on the empty plinth of the toppled statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston, which was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter protest in Bristol, England, Wednesday, 15 July 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.07.2020
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However, not everyone in the City Council approved of the statue's removal. For example, minority leader Joe Borelli reportedly said the move would "sideline history".
This statue joins a wave of statues of confederate characters across the United States to be removed in the past 12 months. The biggest number of statues was taken down during the Black Lives Matter protests that engulfed America after the killing of black man George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020.
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