The Boston Arts Commission on Tuesday night voted unanimously to remove the public monument on which President Abraham Lincoln stood in front of the freed slave.
A monument to emancipation in Park Square – a replica of the original standing in Washington, DC – will be removed by a conservative artist “to document, recommend how the bronze statue is removed, oversee its removal and temporary storage,” the movement said.
“As we continue to work to make Boston a fairer and fairer city, it’s important to look at the stories told by public art in all of our neighborhoods,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who supported the removal of the statue. in a statement.
Opponents of the statue have expressed criticism since it was erected in 1879, Walsh noted. They are not arguing against Lincoln, but a depiction of a statue of a freed slave, which they described as the result of the toxic gaze of a held slave owner and even an outlaw.
Originally designed and styled by Massachusetts-born Thomas Ball, the controversial statue depicts Lincoln with one arm raised above the kneeling, men without shirts and broken shackles on his wrists.
“After engaging in the public process, it is clear that Boston residents and visitors are uncomfortable with this statue and its reductive representation of the Black Man’s role in the rejection movement,” Walsh wrote.
The vote came in response to an online petition that collected more than 12,000 signatures removing a statue amid protests across the country over the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The date of removal of the statue has not been determined yet.