A New York City commission on Monday voted to remove a statue of Thomas Jefferson from City Hall, reports ABC 7.
The New York City Public Design Commission voted unanimously to relocate the 188-year-old statue, located in the building's City Council chambers. The move is the result of a years-long debate stemming from the fact that the former president was a slave owner.
In June, members of City Council, including Council Speaker Corey Johnson, penned a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioWatershed moment in NYC: New law allows noncitizens to vote Hochul calls for permanent legal to-go cocktails in NY Andy Cohen blasts de Blasio during Times Square NYE MORE calling for the statue's removal.
"There are disturbing images of divisiveness and racism in our City that need to be revisited immediately," the letter reads, according to NBC News. "That starts with City Hall."
de Blasio on Thursday during a press briefing told reporters he understood why Jefferson's past "profoundly bothers people, and why they find it’s something that can’t be ignored."
The effort to remove the statue was spurred by Assemblymen Charles Barron and his wife, Councilwoman Inez Barron.
"When we remove this statue, we’re making a right step in erasing the honoring of those who raped," Charles Barron said, according to CBS New York.
Inez Barron echoed a similar sentiment, insisting the two are "not being revisionist."
She added, "We’re not waging a war on history. We’re saying we want the total to be told, not half-truths, and we’re not perpetrating lies."
Part of the council's agreement is to find a new public location for the seven-foot-tall statue, a plaster replica of the one inside the U.S. Capitol, by the end of the year. Locations that have been floated so far include the Governor’s Room, where it originally resided, or the New York Historical Society.