A statue of America's third president, Thomas Jefferson, which has resided in New York's City Hall for 187-years, has been removed because he owned slaves, with workers boxing it up and dragging it out the back door on Monday.
The statue's unceremonious removal came after the Public Design Commission voted to send it from City Hall to the New York Historical Society, where a plaque will be added to it to provide historical context.
The monument had been present in City Hall for 187 years, but recently members of the council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus publicly stated their opposition to its continued display and called for a vote on its removal due to Jefferson's history as a slave owner.
The situation sparked some opposition from New Yorkers, with Erin Thompson, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, blasting the decision as "useless." Speaking to the New York Post, he urged officials to "talk about who we want to honor and why," instead of hiding statues.
The Republican Minority Leader of the New York City Council, Joe Borelli, accused officials of attempting to "sideline history," having previously declared that banishing the statue from City Hall is part of a "progressive war on history."
The decision to relocate the Jefferson statue comes days after the fate of the statue of Theodore Roosevelt, which has stood outside the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, was determined.
The statue of the 26th US president riding a horse, while flanked by figures of a Native American and an African, will be moved to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, which is set to open in 2026 in Medora, North Dakota.