City Councilmembers Peter Vallone (speaking) and Elizabeth Crowley (red coat, to his left) oppose the move of Triumph of Civic Virtue to Brooklyn
A number of Queens elected officials, including the now-disgraced US Representative Anthony Weiner and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, have been critical of Frederick MacMonnies’ 1922 allegorical work Triumph of Civic Virtue, claiming its depiction of a warrior astride two fallen mermaids sends a sexist message. Some, however, can look beyond the literal and see its symbolic, as well as artistic, value.
Still, its Queens detractors seem to have won, as the NYC Design Commission approved the move of Virtue‘s present localtion west of Queens Borough Hall in Kew Gardens, to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, where it would undergo restoration. The statue’s pedestal/fountain would remain in place and a new installation celebrating women in history would take its place. Though the decision was made November 13th, the community board was not informed, creating the impression that the work would be moved in the dead of night, with hopefully no one noticing.
On Saturday, December 8th, 2012, Community Board 9 hosted a rally to restore the work in place. City Councilmembers Peter Vallone and Elizabeth Crowley voiced support that Triumph would stay where he is. Vallone offered the opinion that similar works in Central Park wouldn’t be allowed to deteriorate the way Civic Virtue was.
Let your elected officials know where you stand regarding Civic Virtue
FNY details Triumph of Civic Virtue