Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

NYC Removes Statue Honoring 19th Century Surgeon Who Experimented On Female Slaves

NYC Removes Statue Honoring 19th Century Surgeon Who Experimented On Female Slaves

The statue of 19th century obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. J. Marion Sims was removed just after 8 a.m. Monday night, the city Public Design Commission voted to remove the statue of Dr. Sims. Mayor Bill de Blasio established the panel in August 2017 after violent white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the planned removal of a Robert E. Lee monument.

Sims was known as the father of modern gynecology. He invented the speculum and pioneered a surgical technique for repairing a vesicovaginal fistula, a complication of obstructed childbirth.

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Officials say the statue will be moved to Green-Wood Cemetery on Tuesday. The statue, erected on the edge of Central Park in East Harlem in 1894, is being taken down on Tuesday after sitting there for more than 100 years.

The NYC Public Design Commission on Monday voted unanimously in favor of moving the Sims monument from Central Park to his burial site at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. The panel determined the statue of Dr. Sims was the only monument controversial enough to be taken down. It will be relocated to where Sims is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Protesters have pushed the American Museum of Natural History to remove the a statue of Theodore Roosevelt, and a statue of Christopher Columbus became an issue in the recent mayoral election, though de Blasio ultimately decided the statue should remain with added information about Columbus's treatment of Native Americans.

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