Controversial Central Park statue moved to Brooklyn cemetery


After 84 years in Central Park, the granite base of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims is now empty.

"The relocation of the Sims monument to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn by the City of NY denotes that this physical representation of anti-black violence will still stand and maintain its presence in the heart of yet another community of color", said Amrit Trewn, an activist. The removal of the statue comes after repeated protests a year ago, amid a nationwide wave of demonstrations against Confederate monuments and other racist statues. The statue was removed just hours after the city's Public Design Commission voted unanimously in favor of relocation Monday.

De Blasio decided the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle would remain.

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A small crowd gathered to watch Sims' statue come down, many cheering.

However, Sims was also known for conducting experiments on enslaved black women without using anesthesia. Harlem resident, Mercy Wellington, said she was happy the doctor's image would no longer be honored in such a public way. "Fine. Complete the job and bury it", City Councilwoman Inez Barron (D-Brooklyn) told the New York Daily News.

"Each day I walked past that statue and I saw him up there, I felt personally disrespected".

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Of all the controversial city statues considered by the commission in their review, Sims' statue is the only one that will be moved.

Moyland says the cemetery is home to many prominent historical figures. City government officials are now taking an "additive approach" to the removal, and plan to build another statue in Sims' place, according to Finkelpearl.

In addition, "the surrounding neighborhood of East Harlem/El Barrio largely consists of communities of color" that have been asking that the statue be taken down for decades, the commission noted.

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