A statue of Thomas Jefferson is removed from New York City Hall after 187 years

(CNN) – After 187 years, a statue of the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, no longer sits in New York City Hall.

The statue, which is a plaster replica of the original, was removed from its pedestal on Monday, according to the city. The process took several hours, and the 7-foot statue was transported in a wooden box to the New York Historical Society, where it will be on a long-term loan.

Several cities have taken steps to remove controversial statues associated with Confederate symbols and leaders associated with slavery.

Last month, the city’s public design commission voted 8-0 to move the statue because of Jefferson’s history as a slave owner.

“Thomas Jefferson was a slaveholder who owned over 600 people,” said Councilwoman Adrienne Adams, co-chair of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, in a presentation last month. “It makes me deeply uncomfortable to know that we are sitting in the presence of a statue that pays homage to a slaveholder who basically believed that people like me were inherently inferior, lacked intelligence and were not worthy of freedom or justice. . “

The original Jefferson bronze statue was made by Pierre-Jean David D’Angers in 1833, and the copy was donated to the people of New York in 1834. After moving around City Hall over the years, it has most recently sat in the City Council chamber since 1915, according to the city.

Councilman Inez Barron told the commission last month that the statue of Jefferson was inappropriate in a room where New Yorkers gathered to rule.

Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence.

The original statue is still on display in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC.

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