CENTRAL PARK — A doctor revolutionized the field of surgery, but he did so at the expense of female slaves. He operated on them against their will and without anesthesia.
A statue of him in Central Park will be moved to the Brooklyn cemetery where he is buried. Residents have been debating the fate of Dr. J. Marion Sims' monument for seven years. That debate came back into the spotlight after the events in Charlottesville.
It is the only statute in the city that will be moved. A commission created to figure out what to do with controversial statues and monuments on New York City property has recommended that most be kept where they are with historical markers added to give additional context.
Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the statue review last summer amid a national outcry over violence surrounding a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the removal of a Confederate statue. Attendees and counterdemonstrators brawled, and a counterdemonstrator was killed when car plowed into a crowd of protesters.
At the time, de Blasio said a task force would be created to review "symbols of hate" on city property with an eye toward determining whether removals were necessary.