Almost two months after Mayor de Blasio announced the 18-member Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers, formed to assess controversial statues and public art on city-owned property, his administration has now revealed that they’ll be welcoming feedback from all New Yorkers. According to the Daily News, the city has launched an online survey for the public to weigh in on which markers classify as “symbols of hate” and which should be kept, relocated, or altogether removed. In addition, survey participants can suggest if a monument should receive a contextual or educational plaque, as well as suggest ideas for totally new monuments.
The issue came about following the violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, after which Mayor de Blasio announced a 90-day review of possible “symbols of hate on city property.” As 6sqft previously broke down, some of these include:
Columbus Circle’s Christopher Columbus statue (City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito wants the statue removed based on accounts that Columbus enslaved and killed indigenous people), all monuments and naming related to Peter Stuyvesant (based on a request from Jewish rights group Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center due to Stuyvesant anti-Semitic past and religious intolerance), and the East Harlem statue of Dr. James Marion Sims, who became the father of modern gynecology by performing experiments on slaves without consent or anesthesia.
Since being assembled, the commission has held one private meeting. Co-chair and the city’s cultural affairs commissioner Tom Finkelpearl said that survey responses “will play a critical role in shaping the commission’s work of developing guidelines that can be applied broadly to art on City property, with the ultimate goal of putting forth a thoughtful way to promote more inclusive, welcoming public spaces for all New Yorkers.”
Responses will be collected through November 26th. You can take the survey here >>
- De Blasio announces 18-member committee, including Harry Belafonte, to review controversial monuments
- De Blasio suggests adding contextual plaques to controversial city statues
- Jewish rights group wants Peter Stuyvesant monuments removed over anti-semitism
- De Blasio considering removal of Christopher Columbus statue near Central Park