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City to send Civic Virtue to Brooklyn

"Triumph of Civic Virtue" is on its way to Brooklyn after the city authorized its move.
TimesLedger Newspapers

While the borough was cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy, a city agency approved a resolution to send a much-maligned statue packing to Brooklyn.

“The Triumph of Civic Virtue,” a statue looming large near Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, is heading for its final resting place at Green-Wood Cemetery, where descendants of the statue’s sculptor, Frederick MacMonnies, are buried.

The statue, depicting a nude man personifying civic virtue standing over the two sisters of vice and corruption, has stood outside Borough Hall since the 1940s after Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved it from City Hall, where it supposedly offended him.

Criticism of the statue from the LaGuardia days crossed the river right along with it, as former Borough President Claire Shulman tried to get it moved and former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner called the statue “offensive” to women — prior to his sexting scandal.

Borough President Helen Marshall’s office confirmed the city Public Design Commission approved the relocation of the statue and said the space will now honor women.

“Borough President Marshall is pleased that the statue will be restored and will work to see that the base of the statue, which will remain here, will be transformed into a public sitting area with benches and landscaping,” said the spokesman. “She would also like the public area to pay tribute to outstanding women who have made a significant contribution to our borough and city.”

But not everyone is so quick to applaud the relocation of the stone carving. City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said the authorization to move the statue was done in secret, and he believes there should be time for public comment.

“This is a historically significant statue and the only one of its kind that I know of,” he said. “It’s an allegory for virtue triumphing over vice and corruption — a message that we need today.”

The councilman, who has two daughters, said he does not believe the statue debases women and said “if you think this is anti-woman, then there are lots of other statues out there that you must oppose.”

Vallone has been outspoken about this statue in the past and said he has never heard from any residents who are offended by the statue and believe it should be moved.

“It should be restored to its original beauty, with a working fountain,” he said. “The city would never let this statue decay the way it has if it was in Central Park. And it certainly would never be moved.”

Vallone said he is waiting to hear back from the Design Commission, as well as the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, to find out how the decision was made to move the statue and what he can do to keep “Civic Virtue” in the borough.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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JOHN BATTISTALEONE from KEW GARDENS, NY says:
NEW YORKERS, PLEASE LISTEN TO THE POLITICAL
STORY THAT IS GOING TO BE, TO BE HAPPENING IN
OUR TOWN.

IT SHOULD BE REALLY CALLED:
A THEFT FROM ONE TOWN TO THE OTHER

WHY??

FOLLOW MY LEAD. HA!!

BROOKLYN WANTS TO TAKE THE STATUE KNOW AS:

"TRIUMPH OF CIVIC VIRTUE"

WITH NO VOTING OF THE TOWN´S PEOPLE OR AN OKAY OF PEOPLE, RESIDENTS OF KEW GARDENS, NY, THE STATUE IS GOING TO BE, TO
BE MOVED FOR REPAIR IN BROOKLYN, BUT, BUT IT WILL NOT BE COMING BACK.

WHAT POLITICAL BULL-——/THIEVES.

IF THE STATUE NEEDE REPAIR IT COULD BE
DONE ON IT´S LOCATION, PLACE OF ADDRESS//WERE IT STANDS.

WHY TAKE IT TO BROOKLYN?? WHY?? BECAUSE
BROOKLYN DOES NOT HAVE ANYTHINNG, NOT EVEN THEIR OWN TOWN COULD BE KEPT-UP FOR BROOKLYN COULD NEVER, EVER BE PAIRED-UP LIKE THE HIGH CLASS IN STATURE THAT QUEENS IS.

THE CITY COUNSEL, MAYOR AND ANY OTHER GROUP INVOLVED IN THE TRANSFERRING OF THE STATUE ARE NOTHING BUT DIRTY POLITICIANS.

THE STATUE WAS GIVEN BY A WELL-OFF/RICH FAMLY AND SINCE THEN IT WAS PLACED, INSTALLED IN KEW GARDENS, QUEENS, NEW YORK.

I, JOHN BATTISTELEONE, HIGHLY THINK THAT THE STATUE SHOULD STAY HERE AND SO DO THE OTHER TOWN´S PEOPLE OF KEW GARDENS.

THIS GOVERNMENTE TALKS ABOUT LEADERSHIP AND GOOD MORAL CONDUCT OF
OTHER FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS, WELL!!!! HOW ABOUT STARTING RIGHT HERE, RIGHT HERE IN THE TOWN OF KEW GARDENS, NEW YORK. WE RESIDENTS OF KEW GARDENS HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN OUR RIHTS NOR, NOR THE ALERTNESS, THE WARNING OF THE STATUE OF CIVIC VIRTUE THAT IT WILL BE MOVED.
.
SHAME ON THE MAYOR FOR HE IS INVOLVED
ON THIS ACT AND IF NOT, WHO WOULD WANT
TO HURT OUR FEELINGS. WHO?? LET THE PEOPLE OF KEW GARDENS LIVE IN PEACE. PEACE DOES NOT COME EASY MY FRIEND. SOMETIMES WAR IS THE ANSWER IN OUR CHANGING WORLD FOR SHOW IF YOU HAVE WISDOM, MIGHT TO REALLY SHOW HOW DEMOCRACY REALLY WORKS IN THIS COUNTRY. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME ON YOU.

DAMN IT!!! GOD IS JUST TO GOOD FOR SCUMS
WHO WANT TO DESTROY HAPPINESSSSSSSS.
WHY NOT TAKE THE UGLY STATUES IN THE FEDERAL POST OFFICE AT 53 STREET AND THIRD AVENUE IN NEW YORK CITY. THOSE STATUES REALLY NEED, NEED TO BE SAVE FOR ((MAN!!!!!)) THEY ARE UGLY.

THANK YOU FOR REALLY MY STATEMENT, MY FIGHT FOR IF THERE IS TO BE A COUNTRY OF REAL DEMOCRACY, THEN SHOW IT, BUT NOT, NOT BY STEELING OUR STATUE.

THANK YOU,

JOHN BATTISTALEONE,
A FINE GENTLEMAN AND NOT A CRIMINAL
Dec. 7, 2012, 7:25 pm

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