A statue of Thomas Jefferson was removed from New York City Hall where it was displayed for almost 200 years because the former President and Founding Father owned slaves.

New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously in October to remove the statue from the legislative chamber at City Hall by the end of the year, after four lawmakers testified that his status as a slaveholder was offensive to the council’s African American members. The commission originally attempted to vote on the statue’s removal without a public hearing.

According to The New York Post, a dozen workers from Marshall Fine Arts packed up the 884-pound statue of Jefferson in a wooden crate Monday. The statue will be transported to the New York Historical Society as a long-term loan.

The outlet also stated that Keri Butler, executive director commission that voted to remove the 1833 statue, attempted to block the press from observing the removal but relented after the mayor’s office and City Council intervened.

The original bronze statue, sculpted by Pierre-Jean David, remains on display in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. The replica was a gift to the city by naval officer Uriah Phillips Levy in 1834, the country’s first Jewish Naval commodore and an admirer of Jefferson’s belief in religious freedom."

According to The New York Times, "The painted plaster version was later donated to New Yorkers and arrived at City Hall around 1834. When it first arrived in New York, Levy charged to view it and used the proceeds to feed the poor. It was installed in the City Council Chamber in the 1910s."

Several other Jefferson statues around the US have been removed or destroyed since the George Floyd riots, including ones in Georgia and Oregon.

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