City commission recommends keeping controversial statues in place

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A commission created to figure out what to do with controversial statues on New York City property has recommended that they must be kept where they are with historical markers added for additional context.

However, one statue will be moved. Officials say the Dr. J. Marion Sims statue will be moved from Central Park to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.

The Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers was put together by Mayor Bill de Blasio following nationwide protests over Confederate statues.

Sims, often called the “father of gynecology,” was a white 19th-century doctor who performed surgical experiments on enslaved black women without anesthesia.

The commission was criticized for the idea that statues like those of Christopher Columbus in Columbus Circle and Sims could be removed.

The president of Green-Wood Cemetery Richard Moylan says the commission agreed that the statue should be moved to Green-Wood where Sims and his family are buried.

However, Moylan says only the statue will be moved and not the surrounding plaques that credit the doctor with his surgical breakthroughs.

Moylan says other plaques or explanatory panels that detail the good and also the bad will be created.

He says hundreds of school groups visit the cemetery each year and that the statue would be a great education tool for retelling history. 

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