NYC Decides Not to Tear Down Controversial Monuments—But Will Add Historical Markers Instead

When it comes to tearing down controversial monuments, count New York City out.

After months of consideration and debate, the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers has decided that none of the city’s statues and monuments honoring polarizing historical figures, including Christopher Columbus and Teddy Roosevelt, will be taken down. Instead, they will be displayed alongside new plaques providing historical context. One particularly contested statue—that of 19th-century physician J. Marion Sims—will also be moved to a different location in the city.

“Reckoning with our collective histories is a complicated undertaking with no easy solution,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Our approach will focus on adding detail and nuance to—instead of removing entirely—the representations of these histories.”

Moving forward, he added, “we’ll be taking a hard look at who has been left out and seeing where we can add new work to ensure our public spaces reflect the diversity and values of our great city.” Read more