Meeting held for mayor's statue commission

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BROOKLYN -

The commission put together by Mayor Bill de Blasio to come up with guidelines for controversial statues on city property is facing controversy after having its first meeting Tuesday.

The mayor created the Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Makers following protests throughout the country surrounding Confederate statues.

At its first meeting Tuesday, both the public and the media were not allowed inside. The New York Press Club says it was surprised and dismayed that the meeting was closed and argued that all future meetings should be open.

The co-chairs of the commission said in a statement: "Monuments are lasting embodiments of our city and nation's people. Our goal is to make our public landscape more reflective of that rich and complicated history. This thoughtful community conversation is our city's first-ever attempt at making these important strides possible."

While the commission started following protests over Confederate statues, the conversation expanded to other figures like Christopher Columbus, in particular the statue in Manhattan's Columbus Circle.

The commission's co-chairs say they promise that the public will have a chance to have their voices heard. They say there will be an online survey for public input and several public forums.

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