Statue of doctor who operated on enslaved women removed from Central Park

Statue of doctor who operated on enslaved women removed from Central Park”

The bronze statue, previously held upon a granite base in the park, will rest on a low pedestal in the cemetery, The New York Times reported.

New York City workers removed a Central Park statue on Tuesday commemorating Dr. J. Marion Sims, a 19th-century surgeon who made significant advances in gynecology at the expense of enslaved black women.

Commission co-Chairman Tom Finkelpearl called the transfer of the statue of Sims in a cemetery, green-wood "an important step to... make public spaces more open, unifying and welcoming for all".

"Placing the sculpture near his grave site is not meant to glorify him", the president of Green-Wood, Richard J. Moylan, said in a statement. However for at least four years, Sims is known to have conducted experiments on enslaved black women without anesthesia.

The monument to Sims is among a number of other statues that have drawn controversy in NY in recent months. "I fully support this proposal to relocate the statue from this honored, high-profile position in Central Park".

"Women of African descent, black and brown women have consistently had our reproductive freedoms and rights oppressed", said Chanel Porchia-Albert, founder of Ancient Song Doula Services, who spoke at a public hearing before the design commission vote, according to NYDN. "This is just the beginning of having some reconciliation".

But the decision to erect the statue again instead of removing it entirely drew the ire of some activists.

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