Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Queens pols allow loss of Civic Virtue
From the NY Times:
Given the improbable journey of “Civic Virtue” since it was begun by the sculptor Frederick MacMonnies in 1920, nothing can be ruled out. The statue, known rudely as “Fat Boy” or “Rough Boy,” is about to become the best traveled public monument in city history, moving from the Bronx (where it was carved) to Manhattan (1922 to 1941) to Queens (1941 until the present) to Brooklyn, where it is to settle indefinitely in Green-Wood Cemetery.
The move was authorized Nov. 13 when the municipal Design Commission approved a long-term loan of the statue to Green-Wood. In a city preoccupied with cleaning up from Hurricane Sandy (Green-Wood suffered at least $500,000 worth of damage), the authorization slipped under the radar. A mayoral spokeswoman confirmed it on Monday.
Within months, perhaps by year’s end, the perennially controversial and increasingly crumbly 15-foot-high marble — an allegory of virtue standing atop the sirens of graft and corruption — will disappear from the prominent spot it has occupied for 71 years in Kew Gardens, at Queens Boulevard and Union Turnpike, outside Queens Borough Hall.
It will be swallowed into the ornamented landscape of Green-Wood Cemetery, where it will stand at Jasmine and Garland Avenues. Surrounded by ornate mausoleums, memorial statuary and 560,000 dead bodies, “Civic Virtue” will be much less conspicuous. Make of that political metaphor what you will.