This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
for 71 years until it was hauled off to Green-Wood cemetery in 2012 – has since been
cleaned and conserved at taxpayer expense. The results are phenomenal.
The Civic Virtue Task Force has formed to plan and advocate for
the return of the restored statue to its home on Queens Boulevard.
The Task Force al so wants the statue's fountain base to be
repaired, and the fountain to be turned on every day as an
accessory to the restored statue.
The newly-restored Civic Virtue statue returned to a functioning
fountain base on Queens Boul evard would be a sight to behold –
and far superior to the plan already shown by the City for the
Queens Boulevard site, which leaves the fountain inoperative as a
mere "planted ruin."
Triumph of Civic Virtue is a colossal monument statue originally
dedicated in 1922, commissioned by a New York City Mayor using
funds bequeathed to the City by Angelina Crane. The statue was
designed by Frederick William MacMonnies, a well known
American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts school, and carved by the Piccirilli brothers, who also created the statue of
Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. The statue depicts Heracles – as the personification of civic virtue –
towering above two Sirens symbolizing vice and corruption.
In 2012, against the will of local officials and residents, the City administration removed Civic Virtue from Queens
Boulevard to Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn.
DEBUNKING THREE COMMON MYTHS CONCERNING TRIUMPH OF CIVIC VIRTUE:
"Civic Virtue had to be relocated to Green-Wood cemetery so that the statue could be cleaned and conserved."
Lie. It was not Green-Wood that paid to clean and conserve Civic Virtue, but rather, New York City taxpayers.
Indeed, City records show that taxpayers ponied up $49,464.00 for "all labor, materials and equipment necessary
for the conservation of the Civic Virtue sculpture." Adding insul t to injury, taxpayers also parted with an additional
$49,801.00 for the design and fabrication of the "custom armature" needed to lift Civic Virtue and haul it away from
Queens Boulevard to Brooklyn. Had the statue not been moved, taxpayers would not have incurred that additional
expense. In any event, it was simply unnecessary to move Civic Virtue to Green-Wood cemetery.
"Civic Virtue depicts a man stomping on two women."
Lie. In fact, Civic Virtue does not depict any women at al l . (Indeed, the statue was commissioned by a woman,
who would never have consented to any derogatory depiction of women.) Rather, the statue shows Heracles as
the personification of Civic Virtue, actively triumphing over two tempting Sirens – which are non-human, allegorical
figures that even have tails protruding from their backs – symbolizing vice and corruption. The idea expressed by
the statue, that "civic virtue" can and does triumph over vice and corruption, should be welcomed by citizens and
elected officials, alike.
"Civic Virtue lacked the support of local officials."
Lie. This falsehood, promoted by Green-Wood cemetery on signage now installed in front of Civic Virtue, is
belied by the numerous well-documented press conferences, statements and letters of local official s who did
support Civic Virtue, and moreover, who wanted Civic Virtue to remain on display on Queens Boulevard instead of
being loaned to Green-Wood.
On April 8, 2014, members of the Civic Virtue Task Force met with representatives of
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz to request her support. While Ms. Katz already
supports the restoration of the 1964 World's Fair New York Pavillion at an estimated cost of
$40 million, returning the already-restored Civic Virtue public artwork to Queens Boulevard
would cost just a smal l fraction of that amount. Where does Borough President Katz stand?
We don't know, because her representatives have not returned any follow-up telephone
messages left during the past eight weeks.
For further information or to become involved, please contact the Civic Virtue Task Force.
Richard Iritano • 718-835-6948 • 917-837-2573
Online updates: www.triumphofcivicvirtue.org/news/
THEN – Before Cleaning NOW – After Cleaning
on Civic Virtue