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

Comments (200)
  1. The Good Reverend Tuxton Sincere Jones says:

    Yes this is true, Rachel the statue was moved in the past, but by Fiorello
    LaGuardia, who was–you guessed it–Jewish! Rodin, I am not a looney. I am reciting facts. We can break them down if you want, but 30% of the assemblymen and women, councilmen and women, state senators, congressmen and women, U.S. Senator Schumer, and our billionaire mayor are Jewish.

    1. Blath says:

      what does Judaism have to do with a statue? I think you are just a racist. If they only control 30% of all the stuff you named, than they don’t have a majority and can not accomplish their goals without the help of others. Get a better argument for why Jews are bad, and get a legitimate argument for why this statue doesn’t belong there.

      1. The Good Reverend Tuxton Sincere Jones says:

        Well Blath, what you fail to see in your ignorance is that when a group making up 9% of the population yeilds 30% of the representative government, you have a problem. Blacks make up substantially more of the city’s population than the jews, but do not come close to the 30% in government. When one group yeilds this type of power, it leads others to wonder how they were able to catapult themselves into government three times greater than their share of the citizenry. Pick any other race, religion, and ethnicity and no one has such dominance. Combined to this their monopoly on the three major networks, their majority presence on Wall Street and in investment banks, the “Big Four” accounting firms, law firms throughout the city, and in the city’s academia, and you have one typically hyperliberal group having a strangle hold on all affairs. Take into account the commercial real estate that they own, their dominance of the medical field, Hollywood studios, and the reach of their dominance becomes apparent. Nationwide, they account for only two percent of the population, yet make up 50% of the country’s billionaires.

      2. Chris says:

        Blath…Jews are not a “race”, they’re a faith….funny how most Jews are caucasian isn’t it? But no real caucasians mind you…the only real white people are blonde hair/blue eyes. The rest are from slavic backgrounds…Hitler was right about that!

    2. What Ever says:

      According to Wikipedia, his father was Catholic, mother was Jewish and he was a practicing Episcopalian.

      1. Rodin says:

        Geez, I always thought he was Italian….

    3. Eddie says:

      @rev tux, like I said earlier – white christian men don’t make up 95% of the population, so why are they 95% of representative government? Methinks you’d best start working on righting that wrong.

      1. Aztec says:

        Let’s talk about basketbball…

  2. Rick says:

    The real statue of civic virtue triumphing over evil would be a man cutting off the “head” of Anthony Weiner. He’s such an evil little commie slimebucket.

    1. Jerry says:

      My sentiment entirely Rick, BRAVO

  3. RachelB says:

    When I see comments like “Stop reading more into it than there is,” I want to ask, “Did you actually read the article?” Because people have apparently been reading sexism into this statue since it was unveiled in 1922. Maybe there’s a reason for that.

    1. Rodin says:

      The idea of “sexism” as we know it wasn’t around in MacMonnies’ day. Ignorance and bias have been around forever.

      1. RachelB says:

        I take it you haven’t read Christine di Pisan’s City of Ladies? I understand the idea that -isms, like everything else, are historically contingent. But misogyny and its diminutive forms aren’t recent inventions.

      2. Rodin says:

        Perhaps I should’ve but, while a voracious reader, I’m sure to miss something here or there. I suggest you re-read what I said above. I think you missed something.

      3. mutedvolume says:

        Translation: Oh, I see you upped me because you know something I don’t, so I will just diss your higher intelligence by insinuating I am too important to even bother to do my homework and engage in a proper response, so I will just repeat my nonsense.

  4. Missy says:

    WORD UP Rev Jones. You nailed it. Could not have said it better myself. People, open your eyes to this very powerful domination.

  5. The Good Reverend Tuxton Sincere Jones says:

    This is not about art, it is about Judiac domination. They have their hand in everything, and try to exact their semetic tyriads upon us by telling us how to carry on our lives. What other group of people make up 9% of the population, but own 60 pervent of all the commercial real estate, make up 30% of the local, state, and federal government in New York, and have such a powerful lobby. The semites are coming, the semites are coming!!

    1. Rodin says:

      Uh-oh! After 4pm. The loonies have arrived.

    2. Eddie says:

      White guys. OK, somewhat more than 9%, but otherwise….

    3. Aztec says:

      The Right Idiot Reverend Witless Jones….

  6. Rodin says:

    (from above)

    First we do away with the entire Old Testament of the HOLY Bible, a true testament to every atrocity and licentiousness committed by Man, GOD’s master creation — in his own image.

    Put it all up on e-bay and raise funds for a Museum of the Mashed Potato Sandwich, a homage to the dehydrated, dull and drab.

    (continued below – 12:48pm)

  7. ew-3 says:

    I find the Weiner to be offensive.

    Besides, it’s a local matter. Go away.

  8. B says:

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

    Refresh my memory but isn’t Weiners office across the street from this statue at 80-02?

  9. Mello Bello says:

    You opened a can of worms here, Weiner. Now people are really going to judge you harshly when you are caught up in stupid things like this. Makes me wonder how many other useless crusades you are going to get involved in – wasting taxpayers money. Not a clever political move for you. Get out of this one now before the stink stays with you for the duration of your term.

    1. Jerry says:

      Bravo Mello Bravo

  10. Pierre L.M. says:

    True “Civic Virtue” means having a Congressman who serves his people well and efficiently and doesn’t pad his time with ridiculous matters like this. You Sir, were not voted in as our Representative to interpret art. Or censor it. If you want to tackle the sexism problem, then go after the small businesses in your area that employ and sexually harass immigrant women while they pay them low wages. That’s real. Forget about the statue, it’s just a piece of marble that isn’t hurting anyone except a few prudes who can’t stomach the sight of a male rear end.

  11. If you’re concerned about losing the art as a piece of cultural history, have it moved to a museum. But I for one am grateful for Rep. Weiner’s strong, vocal stance on sexism and other progressive issues. We need more government officials who aren’t afraid to speak up in support of these matters.

    1. Rodin says:

      You started out good. Then your ignorance and cultural illiteracy shined through.

      Just HOW is this sculpture “sexist”? It’s an American masterpiece based on a classical myth.

      21st c. sensitivities applies to the millennial, pfft!

    2. Cousin It says:

      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  12. Buzzy says:

    Hey Weiner – there are more important things you can be doing as our congressman. If you stay with this one (and see the removal of the statue through) then voters will remember this episode and you’ll be out of a job come next election. Then you will have all the time in the world on your hands to visit statues all over the city and criticize them. In the meantime, stay out of the art censorship arena.

  13. Alex Boyle says:

    One of the rare artistic beauties outside and on the streets and this idiot deems himself a taste maker? New york needs more things like this for visitors to come see and enjoy. It is called tourism, and places like Rome and Paris thrive on it. why can’t we????

  14. Karen says:

    The statue isn’t bothering anyone & it’s been there forever.
    Why wasn’t a halt put to the billboard regarding anti-abortion? Who gave permission for it to be placed anyway?
    All billboards should be screened prior to being placed.

  15. angie B. says:


  16. Linda says:

    A guy named Weiner is worried about a statue? How about the cost of fuel, food. Putz.

  17. Church Lady says:

    Maybe they should move the statue to Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Those buttocks will be much more appreciated there!

    1. Richard T. says:

      Hey Church Lady, Since this idiodic idea was yours, perhaps it’s really YOU who should have this parked in your front yard! Such a STUPID comment-

  18. Mark Silvers says:

    Councilman, if you don’t like it don’t look at it. What a yutz!

  19. Rodin says:

    Pennis envy, fer shore. Look at that saber. LOOK AT THOSE BUNS!

  20. mister x says:

    rep. weiner read these comments and is furious. tone it down everyone!

    1. Rodin says:

      So are we.

    2. William says:

      He’s furious??? I live in his district and cannot believe this is actually a concern….

  21. Roger T says:

    MEMO: To Congressman Weiner
    FROM: The People
    SUBJECT: The “Sexist” Statue

    MESSAGE: Get back to work and get over the statue. Stop worrying about the statue’s buttocks and get off your own. Or we will elect your ass out of office.

  22. William says:

    Hey Weiner,
    The mayor is talking about laying off 6,000 teachers and closing 20 more fire houses. This is what you’re worried about??? Are you serious?????

    1. JBG says:

      And by the way, what does it cost to remove a beautiful scupture?

  23. Mimi says:

    Weiner – stop whining and Get A Life! There are statues like this all over Europe, and they are cherished and considered great works of art. Why don’t you get back to doing what the taxpayers are paying you to do…….make the quality of life in your district better by addressing the POTHOLE PROBLEM and why nothing is being done to repair some very dangerous and destructive holes on the streets in your district. Cars are being destroyed, people are getting hurt.

  24. tj says:

    I think Rep WEEENIE should change his name and move to another state.

  25. Louise Guinther says:

    This is REALLY the way our legislators spend their time?

    What century are we living in, anyway? I thought the whole fig-leaf obsession went out with t he prudish Victorians.

    If you want to take a stand on nudity, please work on abolishing the unartistic kind that dominates television and underwear ads on billlboards, and leave the city’s statuary alone.

  26. GW says:

    If Congressman Weiner doesn’t have anything better to do then it’s time he retires and tries to work for a living like the rest of us instead of leaching off the taxpayers hard work. Moron.

  27. HUGO says:

    Now the Weiner-dog thinks he is the one to decide what is acceptable art? Doesn’t this career politician have anything better to do?

  28. linda says:

    what a “weiner”

  29. Rodin says:

    (from above)

    First we do away with the entire Old Testament of the HOLY Bible, a true testament to every atrocity and licentiousness committed by Man, GOD’s master creation — in his own image.

    Put it all up on e-bay and raise funds for a Museum of the Mashed Potato Sandwich, a homage to the dehydrated, dull and drab.

    (continued below)

  30. Rodin says:

    (from above)

    Let us all revel in Monet’s Water Lilies and Mary Cassatt’s rosy babies and children. Then, there IS Ms Cassatt’s lascivious ‘Little Girl in a Blue Armchair’, legs invitingly spread wide apart at the National Gallery of Art. Where, pray you, is government oversight over this cultural calamity?

    I strongly recommend cutting out and framing the doggie to the left and selling the rest on e-bay as upholstery.


    No offense to anyone….

  31. mj says:

    maybe it’s a “WEINER” thing

  32. eric m says:

    I’m guessing Weiner has already come up with a plan to balance the budget, and fix the unemployment problem. He seems to have a lot of time on his hands.

  33. mk says:

    Doesn’t Mr. Weiner have any real work to do????
    And what a sexist name he has….maybe we need to demand he change it to “Brainless”…..

  34. mak says:

    So this is the reason we keep re-electing these fools? So they can police the statues so our sensibilities are protected? I am really beginning to hate these people.

  35. beeman says:

    There are more important matters to spend time on. It sounds to me like it is doing exactly what art should be doing….. invoking an emotion. Weiner needs to grow up.

  36. Michellangelo says:

    These are some of the greatest comments ever written! New Yorkers should be proud of our wit!!

  37. Ophelia Roydz says:

    Ugly yes, sexist no.
    Worthless yes, sexist no.
    An expense to the taxpayers yes, sexist no.
    Pigeon’s toilet yes, sexist no.
    I could go on.

    1. tj says:

      Are you talking about the statue or Rep Wiener?

    2. Art Polize says:

      Funny Pigeon toilet ,thanks for the laugh!

  38. Bella Abzug says:

    I find his last name extremely sexist and offensive. It should be changed to dikless.

  39. JBZ says:

    What a loser. I hope “Weenie” never visits Europe, his panties would really get in a wad then.

    1. jbg says:

      It’s a lucky thing Mr. Weiner and his ilk aren’t in charge of, say, Rome or Florence. He’d have a field day, but treasury of Renaissance art would be decimated, not to mention the tourist trade!

  40. johnny says:

    Sounds like another Schumer in the making.

  41. yechoiuvsle says:

    Another useless brain dead politician. Hope he gets the clap.

  42. Jon Whitney says:

    Must be a slow day in Weenies office that he has to worry about a classic piece of art work. I have always thought Lady Liberty looked rather masculine can we alter her appearance to look more like one of the models he worships?

  43. floyd bannister says:

    Nothing wrong with this statue except it should be moved to the West Village where it would be appreciated for the fine sculpture that it is and what it represents. Here in the West Village we appreciate art.

    1. JBG says:

      Hey! Some of us in Queens appreciate it too! Every time I pass it I think how lucky we are to have such a distinguished piece in our neighborhood. Mr. Weiner must be truly impervious to beauty, to be able to look at this works and dredge up a cause for offense.

  44. MOE says:


  45. CJNYC says:

    I’m so very glad that I live out of NYC and don’t have to be represented by that ‘WEINER’!!!!!!!!!

  46. Carlos Liriano says:

    leave it right were it is, told that jerk Weiner to find something more important to do,like taking care of the people in his district and the people of NY. Hands of that statue

  47. Maria P says:

    Maybe Rep. Weiner could focus on helping the families in his district and not worry about a statue that has been there for 90 years. Give me a break. He truley is a “weiner”!

  48. Donald Trump says:

    It’s sexy, not sexist. I hereby offer to take this statue off of Weiner’s hands. I’ll install it in front of Trump Tower and personally polish the buttocks daily.

  49. CSI says:

    If only put ths type of dedication to real matters.

  50. lemon pledge cookies says:

    Congressman Anthony Weiner is just trying to get some press. Enough with this overly sensitive political correct B.S. !!!

    It is a beautiful statue and should be restored and cared for. Stop reading more into it than there is.

    It’s not like it is a statue of Ricky Ricardo slapping Lucy because she didn’t get his dinner to the table on time.

    1. Fred Mertz says:

      “It’s not like it is a statue of Ricky Ricardo slapping Lucy because she didn’t get his dinner to the table on time.”

      Now THAT is a sculpture even I could admire!

    2. jbg says:

      I wouldn’t care if it were–it’s the most aesthetically pleasing object on the entire length of Queens Blvd, and that should count for something.

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