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NYC To Consider A Proposal That Could Mean Taking Down Monuments To George Washington, Columbus

  A committee of the   New York City   Council is set to vote Tuesday on a proposal that could result in monuments to figures like   George ...

 A committee of the New York City Council is set to vote Tuesday on a proposal that could result in monuments to figures like George Washington and Christopher Columbus being taken down. 

The proposal before the NYC Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations stipulates that public art that depicts someone who has a connection to slavery or “crimes against humanity” be taken down or have an “explanatory plaque” put up. 

“This bill would require the Public Design Commission (PDC) to publish a plan to remove works of art on City property that depict a person who owned enslaved persons or directly benefitted [sic] economically from slavery, or who participated in systemic crimes against indigenous peoples or other crimes against humanity. If PDC determines a work of art depicts a person who fits these criteria and decides not to remove the work of art, PDC would be required to include in the plan steps it will take to install an explanatory plaque next to the work of art,” the proposal says. 

Republican officials said the proposal is an attempt to erase history and dishonor the individuals who created America. 

“This is little more than an attempt by the radical left to rewrite our nation’s history,” said Republican Councilwoman Joann Ariola of Queens, according to the New York Post. “These men all had an enormous impact on this country, and these statues commemorating their achievements have been in place for decades.”

“The radical left has been trying to reframe our nation as one born from evil, and it is time we put our foot down and say enough is enough,” she said. “The Founding Fathers and the others who worked so hard to establish this great country should be celebrated, not eliminated from memory.”

There are multiple statues of Washington, the nation’s first president and military commander during the war for independence throughout the city, including one in front of Federal Hall, which served as the home to the nation’s first Congress, executive branch offices, and Supreme Court. There are also monuments to Washington in Union Square Park and a statue of Washington and Frenchman Marquis de Lafayette who fought with the Americans during the American Revolution. 


Columbus, attributed with first establishing a link between Europe and the Americas, also has several monuments throughout the city, including a prominent statue in Central Park. The explorer has been a major figure for the Italian-American community, which has held him up as a key tie between Italy and the U.S. 

Monuments to Dutch explorer and settler Peter Stuyvesant, Founding Father John Jay, and prominent early New York political figure and Erie Canal proponent DeWitt Clinton could also be on the chopping block.

New York City Officials have already removed a statue of Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson from the city council chambers and a statue of President Teddy Roosevelt from in front of the city’s Natural History Museum. 

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