‘Nelson & Winnie Mandela Corner’ sign reinstalled near United Nations after PIX11 News notices it mysteriously vanished

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Just hours after PIX11 News inquired about the absence of a street sign honoring Nelson Mandela at East 42nd Street and Second Avenue, crews were dispatched to re-install  a “Nelson & Winnie Mandela Corner” sign in Tudor City  Friday afternoon.

But the organization that maintains the sign says it was simply out for repair, and was reinstalled because of Mandela’s death on Thursday.

The street corner was dedicated to Mandela and then wife Winnie in 1984 by the United Nations, while Mandela was still incarcerated.

“New York City will not give aid and comfort to the enemies of human rights,” then Mayor Ed Koch said at the ceremony, a recording of which is posted on a United Nations website.

After PIX11 News noticed the sign was curiously missing from the corner the day after Mandela’s death, PIX11 contacted the Department of Transportation and the office for Democratic City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, who represents the district where the sign is located, and was told the matter would be looked into.


The corner of 42nd Street and Second Avenue was dedicated to Mandela and his then wife in 1984, while Mandela was still incarcerated. Above, a worker prepares to reinstall the Mandela sign.  (Ashley Edwards/PIX11 News)

After the sign was reinstalled, the DOT, responding to a second inquiry for an explanation,  referred PIX11 to the Grand Central Partnership, which maintains the signs in the immediate area.

Mark Wurzel of the Grand Central Partnership said the sign was taken down earlier this week after it was noticed its illumination had gone out. Wurzel said that sign was being repaired, but after Mandela’s death on Thursday, the partnership decided to reinstall the sign, and then get around to fixing the lighting after Mandela’s funeral on Dec.  15.


Crews prepare to reinstall the Mandela sign shortly after PIX11 News noticed it was missing. (Rolando Pujol/PIX11 News}

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