Rep. Anthony Weiner Wants ‘Sexist’ Queens Statue Removed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Congressman Anthony Weiner is taking a stand against a statue in Queens that has been a source of controversy for nearly 90 years.

Triumph of Civic Virtue” has stood on the corner of Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike, near the Queens Borough Hall, since 1941. The 20-foot marble fountain, designed by renowned sculptor Frederick MacMonnies and carved by the Bronx’s Piccirilli Brothers, was relocated to Kew Gardens after standing in Manhattan’s City Hall Park for 19 years.

“Triumph” was apparently exiled to Queens by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia who reportedly grew tired of being “mooned” by the statue on a daily basis.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones with Rep. Anthony Weiner who says the statue does not represent civic virtue

The statue features a nude, muscled man holding a sword behind his head standing atop two bare-chested mermaids, who look more like Medusa than Ariel, slithering at his feet.

The statue is meant to portray civic virtue triumphing over vice and corruption, however, many have found it offensive for decades. Its allegorical portrayal of vice as female caused a stir following its unveiling in 1922 — which was just two years after the 19th Amendment was passed.

Weiner wants it off the city streets. He and city council member Julissa Ferreras want to propose selling the statue on Craigslist to raise funds.

“It doesn’t represent civic virtue of any sort, it represents an eyesore,” Weiner said. He adds that what passed for clever symbolism in 1920 is now “sexist.”

“What they see is this 20-foot man stepping on two women, and that’s what’s registered, and that’s what they walk away with,” Councilwoman Ferreras said.

NYU professor Carol Krinsky said the statue is an example of artistic allegory, and it’s not meant to be taken literally.

“These are not women being stepped on,” she told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello. “These are representations of evil, they are allegories of vice.”

Weiner said the statue is simply out of place in this day and age.

“The allegory grew out of a sexist notion,” he said.

Some community leaders, who for years have been looking to restore the decaying statue, want “Triumph” to stay. One architect calls the statue “priceless art.”

“We should be looking to restore and preserve it, not desecrate and destroy it,” Kew Gardens resident Richard Iritano said.

The head of Community Board 9, Mary Ann Carey, agrees.

“We should revere it, and be proud of it, and conserve it,” she said.

“This isn’t about art,” said Weiner. “People can choose to view the things that they like – – no one’s saying art should not be created. But, it’s a question of whether it should be on display in Queens as somehow a demonstration of the art that we celebrate. It clearly isn’t, and I think we should get rid of it.”

Do you find the statue offensive? Let us know below

More from Al Jones

One Comment

  1. moonunit2807 says:

    Hey Wiener, get over it you whiny little candy-ass. You succubus.
    Why don’t you try and do you real job instead of manufacturing distractions so people don’t look closer at how corrupt and incompetent you are.
    Just my humble opinion of course and not an accusation.
    I suggest we move it directly across from your office, looking away.

  2. mutedvolume says:

    wow – all of you harping on his last name are incredibly…original. Ok, sarcasm isn’t my side, I’ll just say vapid.

    I find it ridiculous that people are blaming him for $4 gas. Hello? Middle East turmoil? Also, electric cars.

    And everyone either has an issue with how there are more pressing problems, or with how this is art. Both of those things are true. But – you do know there is such a thing as multi-tasking, yes? Please tell me you do. I hope you are not that narrow-minded to think representatives don’t work on more than one issue at a time. As for this art thing – A) context. This statue came out 2 yrs. after The 19th. Context matters. And B) he wants to sell it! Art sells, so why not? What’s wrong with selling this?

    1. Lucian says:

      Electric cars?? God, you’re an idiot. Uh oh, I said “God”. Im sure that makes you nauseous. How about new refineries? How about drilling for our OWN oil? You make ME nauseous.

    2. Lucian says:

      One word comes to mind: Feminazi

    3. Queens Gal says:

      A) it is not his to sell.
      B) current oil crisis notwithstanding, NY taxes put our per gallon price higher than surrounding states.

  3. Pete Robinson says:

    Leave the statue in place! Only loons think of this as a put-down of women, since these are definitely mermaids, which are definitely not real – so there should be no problem.

  4. Ray Gulyas says:

    Are we going to rewrite history every time a new regime is voted in?

  5. ghjdyfjkkk says:

    they can move it the day they remove that filth that offends me every time I see him on tv, muslim obama

  6. bobmac says:

    Is there a bigger moron than Anthony Weiner? Uh,no.

    1. steventamara says:

      Remove Weiner!

  7. Dave Jones says:

    It may be old fashioned, but it’s still art

  8. Kevin says:

    Every censor claims to be acting in the public interest. It never is true. No censor is stupid enough to admit that it only is his own self interest. Fortunately the public is not as stupid as this censor thinks we are.

    1. Michael Vincent Austin says:

      I agree. What should be removed is Rep. Weiner who has brought New York state to bankruptcy, tax slavery and Monarchal rule by his buddy, King Bloomberg who is in contempt of the will of the people in his affront to term-limits. Wiener’s attempt to “sanitize” and censor art and the Mayor’s rule by decree are ANYTHING BUT DEMOCRATIC. The neo-democrat is the old fascist.

      1. Petr says:

        I agreed. The people like so caled representative Weiner coused mass murder in the former Soviet Union. I am a Jew from former Soviet Union and I think it is a shame to elect to the public office people like Blumberg and Wayner. People wake up or you wuill find out yourself in the state that that looks like Soviet Union.

    2. Maxine Smith says:

      I agreee art is seen differently to different people. I as a woman don’t find this offensive at all, since I don’t think there are really mermaids out in the sea. A lot of things have been created through the years with the mind set of the era it is in. What is next the gargoyles?

      1. mutedvolume says:

        And I as a woman, do.

        I am sick and tired of women like you who decide you speak for all of us.

        And the era this was set in is 2 years after we won the right to vote, which is why it was controversial then.

      2. Lucian says:

        She said “I as a woman”. She wasnt speaking for you, you miserable person.

      3. Lucian says:

        If the genders were reversed, you would have NO problem with this at all. The end. Swallow a bullet.

      4. Alicia says:

        Well, yes. The gargoyles are definitely at the top of the Feminist Agenda for removal. We think they represent real creatures that really exist, really, you see. Therefore we must want to protect their rights…or something.

  9. tauceti says:

    Thank you Anthony, for helping us ladies out again. We can’t thank you enough!

    If it’s great art, move it to a museum where it can be discussed in context. Don’t show it off in a place where young girls will see themselves in those two mermaids.

  10. drsolari111 says:

    I see that the reason that Weiner finds the statue depicting “civic virtue” as offensive is that Weiner himself could not aspire to the values that the statue represents and the offense therefore is Weiner is continually reminded of the corruption within himself.

  11. rcm says:

    Rep. Weiner and Rep. Lofgren (San Jose CA) should agree then to a fair trade of statues: Our “Quetzalcoatl” for your “Triumph of Civic Virtue”. Readers can google quetzalcoatle san jose for pictures and histories. Perhaps Rep. Weiner would apreciate the non-sexism of our cultural piece and Rep. Lofgren would apreciate art.

  12. Smashicus says:

    So I guess if there was a statue of Perseus slaying Medusa, that would be sexist too?

    1. yoyo says:

      It would be “too european culture-ish” and minorities would get offended.

  13. Queens Gal says:

    Congressman, if ridding the people of this “blight” will then allow you to focus on the real issues facing your constituency, then, by all means, let’s move it somewhere else not visible to your office window. Then we can focus on the the more serious tasks at hand:
    _Gas at almost $4 a gallon (and rising). Anything being done for NY on this topic. Because not all states are spending what we are.
    _Some of NY’s most populated beaches but by about 12 noon in the summer, the few garbage cans there are full with about 4 feet of garbage surrounding them. Will removing the statue divert public funds from adding new garbage recepticals and how about adding some recycling bins…a quality of life issue that seems pretty easy to address, but for some strange reason never quite is.
    _Tolls within the borough?! I don’t leave Queens to visit my family but it does cost me $6.50. Can Queens residents get a break on EZPass with this?
    _The borough has one of the highest foreclosure rates. Are you sure your time and energy is not better spent addressing the needs of homeowners in your district? What news is coming out of DC that can better help your voters on this issue.
    To name a few…

    As far as the statue itself, well, it is a sign of the times. But we study history and its art and literture to better understand our past and our progress. The piece was not created to depict sexism but some modern day art “intellectuals” may take that view. They are entitled. As are those who enjoy the statue entitled to keep it where it is and enjoy its allegorical message of a virtuous government. But let’s walk in your shoes for a moment, as an elected official who hasn’t made one useful contribution to his district in a while, I, too, would want any reminder of virtue in government removed from the view of my voters as well.

  14. 2gruesome2b says:

    one has to wonder how shattered our esteemed congressman would be should he have the occasion to be in the presence of venus di milo. now there’s a sculpture i call sexy…er, that is to say, sexist!

  15. Trish says:

    Funny because I think that Greg Mocker of CW11 wants to have it clean or restored and Weiner wants it sold.

  16. cygon says:


  17. MarcT says:

    Is it the art that offends Weiner and othe NYC politicians, or the fact that it represents “civic virtue”?

    Ironically, Weiner and his cronies would be the first to defent “art” such as the crucifix in a jar of urine, or a “sculputre” of Jeasus Christ made of elephant dung, or a urinal hung on a wall as valuable “art” important to society…

    Herein lies a perfect example why the Governent should have absolutely NO role in supporting the “arts” it is far too subjective to fairly dole out taxpayer money….

  18. Fritz Von says:

    “Weiner” suggests a phallus. Weiner is sexist name. Fix the name, then the statue.

  19. vispera says:

    Now we have a U.S. congressman who is setting himself up as a judge and curator of art. I think this is a little out of your field. Best to try to help the people of your community who voted to elect you to handle real problems.

  20. bumblebeeman says:

    Wasn’t Weiner the guy who once said he was twice as smart as Stephen Hawking, a better dancer than Fred Astaire, and tougher than Clint Eastwood?

  21. J.J. says:

    If it were a statue of 2 men kissing or a doctor performing an abortion, the aptly named Weiner would fight tooth and nail to keep it there, if not replace the Statue of Liberty with it

  22. hangemhigh says:

    Weiner, always trying act grown up. he’s living up to his name for sure.

  23. Rodin says:


    Bye, bye….

  24. Bernie Sanders says:

    he is annoying weiner weiner weiner … change your name to winer ~

  25. kewgardens says:

    Weiner, I grew up near that statue. It is part of my neighborhood, not some political plaything to be used to try to advance your politicial career. If this statue goes, I will make it my mission to do what I can to ruin your political future.

    1. elda says:

      Weiner is jealous, just look at him!

    2. mutedvolume says:

      and we would cancel each other out

  26. Art Polize says:

    I gave up on Weiner who promised in front of the
    TV cameras we would all get a public option on healthcare insurance.
    What we got from him and Obama the Wimp was my Democrats acting
    like the party of No ,Republicans, NoTHING for social causes but
    everything for the profit from disease insurance companies,anyone
    see the new rates on there HMO for July??
    Weiner and 3 bick Chuck Schumer know how to hog the news
    media with a zillion issues such as this nonsense about a very
    old sculpture being sexist ,I guess Europe along these ideas will
    have to remove 80 per cent of their male dominated subjects as
    models. Phooey!

  27. D P Sweeney says:

    Tell this dirtball to concentrate on the major issues affecting this country and not the small issues. Who really cares

    1. heebiejeebie says:

      I think if a city follow through with a statue removal, all a pigeon in a city will have to locate to another facility. I think be kind to all a pigeons is a better way.

    2. Torvaun says:

      Oh, like two days ago when he was speaking out against a fresh attack on women’s rights in the form of the GOP trying to push it’s way into the examination room (kinda like they kept accusing Obama of trying to do with his healthcare bill). Seems that something like this is really an extension of the larger issue that 50% of the population is being systematically discriminated against on a regular basis.

      1. Alicia says:

        Thank you! I couldn’t agree more.

  28. star says:

    Yeah, I agree the the idea of removing this statue is rediculous, but could the children stop making fun of this guys name ?

    1. heebieJeebie says:

      I think the civic virtue should be wearing the proper trousers and not step on a woman.

      1. Rodin says:

        “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb and naked I shall return thither.” – Job 1:21

  29. frank says:

    i just hate when liberals act like fascists

    1. heebiejeebie says:

      I think the statue a gay pride statue, and the nude male statue not interested in the bare chested female mermaid statue

    2. Rodin says:

      Scratch a liberal, find a fascist. That’s why I hate liberals as much as fascists and have no one to vote for come election day.

  30. American Woman says:

    If the statue depicted Anthony Weiner over Sarah Palin, that image would appear on the dollar bill. Anthony Weiner is a blooming idiot!!!

  31. WhoDoesHeThinkHeIs says:

    this sick demented little liberal would prefer a staue of marx or obama the nobel peace prize winner

    1. Rodin says:

      As much as I hate PC, it’s not liberals who do most of the censoring. “Physician, heal thyself.”

      1. Crazy Harry says:

        True, like with the churches wanting to censor TV shows and cartoons. Seriously, the network literally edited out the parts where Wile E. Coyote gets blown and Daffy gets shot. But then again, the left collectively sues over religious monunments that haven’t bothered anyone but them. So it goes both away.

      2. Crazy Harry says:

        It goes both ways. “Liberals” are obsessed with cutting religion out of the public eye, and Christians want to censor anything secular to fit their views. There’s a happy medium somewhere.

  32. Gracie Mansion says:

    Weiner wouldn’t know civic pride if it bit him on the arse.

  33. spoofproof says:

    Good gracious! Little Tony Weener is an art critic and moralist.
    Is there anything the Weener-man CAN’T do? You go, Weener-man!

  34. John A. says:

    There certainlly are much more important issues of substance to deal with,then worrying about a statue that has stood for years in that location.The Congressman needs to focus on those more serious and important issues,rather then demanding that a staue be removed from that park.We have skyrocketing unemployment and higher taxes and home foreclosures occurring-worry about how to tackle thes problems,Mr. Weiner!

    1. heebiejeebie says:

      I think to pay for statue removal will stimulate the economy

  35. Alex says:

    This Congressman would feel at home with Taliban. Destruction of Buddha statues in Afghanistan or removal of a treasured statue in NY is the same.

    1. mutedvolume says:

      Hyperbole, ye doth know it

      but seriously, this piece of sht is nothing like that treasured and ancient art. Ethnocentric much?

      1. Alicia says:

        But, hello! Disapproval of sexist tropes = religious oppression ‘n stuff. Can’t you see that he was trying to make a valuable and totally valid comparison between two identical situations?

      2. Cousin It says:

        So your conception of what is and isn’t art is the yard stick?

  36. Alicia says:

    Hmm. So a statue of a dude literally standing on top of some ladies isn’t sexist because it’s old or something and also some people like it. I see.

    1. JamaicaRes says:

      Better the people of Queens should remove Anthony Weiner

    2. Rodin says:

      See, these aren’t “some ladies”, they are allegorical figures, mythological creatures kinda like Jesus, god and the holy ghost. They are NOT real themselves. They REPRESENT something.

      1. Alicia says:

        Yes, and of course allegorical figures are never in themselves sexist. And the metaphorical stomping of women is cool because people never use metaphors to express ideas that they also endorse in reality. You can’t argue that things have meeeeeeeaning and then ignore the, uh, meaning that they are expressing.

    3. Smashicus says:

      I have seen the centaur, which is half man, half horse, portrayed as wicked and immoral. As a man, that does not bother me. Perhaps you need to address your insecurities rather than project them upon others.

      1. Crazy Harry says:

        I said the same thing. This woman’s a neurotic nut.

      2. mutedvolume says:

        Translation: Lady, it is I who has the right and ONLY translation of this art piece.

        Art doesn’t work that way, dude.

      3. Alicia says:

        Sure, sure. And maybe if, historically, people had used the belief that all dudes were inherently immoral to justify treating them as second-class citizens (y’know, like they pointed at religious/allegorical figures like Eve and Pandora to show that women were somehow morally weaker than men) then your point would hold water. But they didn’t. So it doesn’t.

    4. Crazy Harry says:

      Those aren’t women. They’re Medusas, snake-headed monsters of Greek mythology. In other words, they’re demons.

      1. Alicia says:

        Whaaaaat? You don’t say! Tell me more, Professor Crazy.

  37. SGannon says:

    I think one solution would be to install a promient, very visible educational sign by the statue that explains that while it looks like it may be sexist on first appearance, in actuality it’s an allegory. In that way, anyone who sees the statue, especially children, would learn something and would be aware of the debate. The community gets to appreciate art and people who did not get to see this report get to learn about the issue and be able to form their own opinons about it.

    1. Rodin says:

      But that would make sense.

  38. Rodin says:

    A friend just reminded me, maybe Weiner could get the curtains John Ashcroft used to veil statues he found offensive at Justice.

    1. Telly says:

      Ha! This is funny but true… ha ha

  39. Mr. Raines says:

    Congressman, if you have nothing better to do, then don’t do it here in our city. You are a waste of space.

  40. Art Lover says:

    Wow – looks like this one is going to cost you big time, Weiner. Next time, pick your battles wisely and think them through. Better do some damage control asap, or you can ditch that so-called career of yours as a congressman. This one is blowing up right in your face!

    1. Rodin says:

      Ignorance should be painful.

  41. Mayor B says:

    I think weiner is just jealous he doesnt look like that

  42. Chris says:

    Isn’t the statue for Justice a “blind woman?” Hmm… why is she blind? Does that interpret that women are handicapped in the court system? Isn’t that sexist ? OMG …or maybe….just maybe I am educated enough to take it for what it represents and NOT what it looks like ! Idiots!

    1. Stephen says:

      You sir are a rambling buffoon and blatantly miss the ENTIRE argument. In Triumph, two women are the embodiment of evil and temptation. TWO WOMEN. Not two men. He is trampling atop them.

      In Justice, she is BLINDFOLDED. She is shown as strength and virtue. She holds the power, not a man walking on her.

      How is a handicap sexist? Maybe you are not as educated as you think….

    2. heebiejeebie says:

      Justice is blind represent why a court system function failure.

  43. Jerry says:

    Weiner better stop lunching with Charlie Sheen ,,detox and move to Pembrook Pines 😐

  44. Chris says:

    Maybe we can burn some bibles later on….cut up the Mona Lisa perhaps? I’ll tell you what’s offensive – the huge GAY flag that adorned the top of the Space Needle for Gay Day……so as long as we can take down what we don’t like to see, and which is might as well take everything down…

  45. Yoely Teitelbaum says:

    you are all ANTISEMITES !!!!

    1. William says:

      Oye Gevalt, is it the same thing with you for EVERY isue???

    2. m says:

      I am not an antisemie…I love semen.

    3. Rodin says:

      No, not all of us, but you’re a typical “watch-me-suffer-the-holocaust” Jew. Enough!

      There might be anti-Semites here and, if you look, I was the first to condemn them in this thread but your pathos is just as bad.

  46. devan95 says:

    I think the statue should be embellished with the slogan: KISS MY WEINER!

  47. Missy says:

    You asked for it Weiner. A trivial issue like this statue is now unleashing a tidal wave of judgment against you. Just go on back to cutting ribbons at supermarket openings if you want to keep your job, I say.

  48. Mitch Miller says:

    How about removing the Statue of Liberty? “Sexist”, right ?

    1. potatoe says:

      I find the Flag and Great Seal of the State of New York to be sexis & racist

    2. heebiejeebie says:

      Liberty statue is a old fashioned and need restoration. for example liberty wear a old fashioned long skirt. It need the contemporary new look mini skirt to reveal changing perspective

      1. Rodin says:

        You mean well but, how about writing properly?

  49. ems says:

    The statue itself isn’t ugly.

    The fact that semi-naked women, cowering submissively at his feat are the artistic representation of Sin, however, IS sexist.

    a – Virtue seems defined as male
    b – Vice seems defined as female
    c – Virtue seems defined as women cowering in their place at the man in charge.

    My version of virtue has no one cowering at my feet while I stand triumphant over them(vice: prideful) and no swords (vice: wrath), with maybe some clothes on as to not embody something one might lust after (vice:) lust. I guess the (vice: greed) is represented by the fact he’s not content with one woman at his feet?

    1. ems says:

      Too bad I can’t spell “feet”.

      1. Telly says:

        Just so everybody understands, those are not women, they are mermaids and mermaids have been portrait as half women, half fish in every art form throughout history. The problem is that people only see the female part but don’t see the fish.
        This is art and very old art that should be preserved or we will have to go around museums and get rid of all the arts that are offensive to men and women.
        As per Hon. Weiner, he should go back to Washington and do the job he was elected to do and Julissa Ferrera should go back to her district unless she is having aspirations to a higher office, the statue is out of her jurisdiction

    2. Chris says:

      Funny….when I look at you (how offensive it may be) you represent something that isn’t remotely human or intelligent in nature, so we should definitely interpret everyone, and then burn them.

      1. ems says:

        Saying I deserve burning because I recognize that older statues and images may use stereotypes and/or symbolism that we recognize as sexist today seems a rather disproportionate reaction to me.

        Keeping it for the historic and artistic value, but in a less prominent place, or selling it for funds both seem like reasonable solutions to me.

        Then again, your response looks like a troll and not an actual reasoned response, so I should probably not engage you. I have no reason to believe that you actually are for the statue and not just writing to insult people. Trollish behavior tends to be unintelligent in nature.

    3. heebiejeebie says:

      I think maybe the statue symbolize the celebrity rock star on drugs, and mermaids symbolize the teenage teenie bopper fan and submit happily.

  50. Rick says:

    I should have said the head of Anthony’s Weiner. The moil with Parkinson’s

Comments are closed.

More From CBS New York


Listen Live