That the statue is in disrepair is above dispute: It's dirty, and its marble is crumbling. The argument is over whether to do anything about it.
The district manager of Queens Community Board 9, Mary Ann Carey, wants the statue restored. In June, she sent letters to Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, as well as figures in the New York art world, asking for support. At their June meeting, the members of the Kew Gardens Civic Association voted overwhelmingly in support of restoring the statue. In recent weeks, the president of the Fine Arts Federation of New York — a consortium of arts groups including the National Sculpture Society, the Municipal Art Society, and the Architectural League of New York — Tomas Rossant, sent letters to the New York City Parks Commissioner, Adrian Benepe, and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, advocating that the sculpture be conserved.
‘Fat Boy' Vs. Feminists
Ms. Marshall, however, is no fan of "Fat Boy," as the statue's detractors call it. She has called the statue sexist and said she has no interest in restoring it — in fact, she wishes it were somewhere else. Mr. Benepe, meanwhile, says that he would like to see the statue restored but that the Parks Department doesn't have the money — between $1 million and $2 million, according to a Department estimate — required to both restore the marble and make its fountain function again.
Please go back and reread the post about the Staten Island diner so you can see how Benepe and Marshall managed to prove our last point...
Photo from NYC Parks Department