NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The future of a Queens landmark is uncertain.
Borough leaders said they have been told that the “Triumph of Civic Virtue” fountain will be moved, but the city denies it.
“Triumph of Civic Virtue” in Queens is no stranger to the headlines. Just last year women’s groups called on the city to sell it, declaring it sexist. And on Thursday, a controversial plan to move it to Brooklyn put it back in the spotlight.
“Why would they move it?” David Brown of Hollis, Queens pondered to CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock. “It’s been here forever.”
“I think it’s legit to have it here,” Daniel Stillfried of Flushing said. “I’ve been living here for 10 years, and I’m just so used to walking by it.”
The fountain depicts civic virtue trampling twin sirens of vice and corruption. It moved to Queens in the 1940s and might be on the move again, this time to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn.
Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said that’s what he was told.
“I was personally spoken to by the administration, and they told me that their present intention is to take it from the people from Queens and put it on a private location in Brooklyn,” Vallone Jr. said.
But the Department of Citywide Administrative Services is emphatic that it’s not a done deal. They said, “The city is looking into options that preserve the sculpture and best serve the community.”
Green-Wood Cemetery backed them up, saying, “The cemetery has offered to be the permanent home for ‘Triumph of Civic Virtue.’ While we have had discussions with city officials, nothing has been confirmed at this point in time.”
“We see no reason to spend money to relocate it to a cemetery where it’s just going to be amongst dead people,” Mary Ann Carey, the District Manager of Board 9 in Queens, said. “Why should it be moved someplace else? They don’t have enough in Brooklyn? They don’t have enough in Manhattan?”
“We’re looking to stop this,” Vallone Jr. said. “We’re looking to restore it.”
So what does the future hold? Right now it seems that only time will tell.
The cost to fully restore “Triumph of Civic Virtue” is roughly $2 million. The Queens Borough President told CBS 2 that the borough doesn’t have the money because of budget reductions.
What do you think should happen to “Triumph of Civic Virtue?” Does it belong in Queens or does a potential move to Brooklyn make sense? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…