Looks like the controversial statue, Triumph of Civic Virtue, is being shipped to Brooklyn, reports the Times Ledger. On November 13, the City Design Commission ruled to permanently relocate the statue to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Since 1941, it has sat outside of Borough Hall in Kew Gardens just off of Queens Blvd. It depicts “Hercules triumphing over the sirens of vice and corruption.” Some people have considered the statue to be a bit sexist, since it’s perceived as a dude crushing two female mythical creatures under his foot, and there have been numerous voices over time expressing a desire to get rid of it. Of course, there are some that do not see it as sexist, including City Councilman Peter Vallone.
A spokesperson from Borough President Helen Marshall’s office said, “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. She would also like the public area to pay tribute to outstanding women who have made a significant contribution to our borough and city.”
The statue was designed by Frederick MacMonnies and was sculpted by the Bronx-based Piccirilli Brothers (Ferrucio, Attilio, Furio, Horatio, Masanielo and Getulio). According to the Kew Gardens Civic Association, here’s the back story (no pun intended – you’ll see) of this statue:
Civic Virtue stood in front of City Hall until Mayor La Guardia decided he was sick of being mooned by it everytime he left the office. In 1941, La Guardia finally thought of a way to get rid of the thing. He made a gift of the statue to Queens County in honor of the opening of its new Borough Hall. Civic Virtue was moved to the park next to Borough Hall where it has remained since.