Kenney Administration Will Move the Rizzo Statue … Somewhere
The process will take at least six months.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.
The Frank Rizzo statue will get a new home.
The city announced on Friday that officials will remove the contentious sculpture from Thomas Paine Plaza, its location since 1998.
The notice comes months after the city put out a call for ideas on the future of the statue, which has been under fire for years and faced increased scrutiny — along with many other monuments around the country — in the wake of August’s deadly neo-Nazi and white supremacist rally against the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville.
The city received close to 4,000 submissions between August 24th and September 15th. In a statement, managing director for the city Michael DiBerardinis said officials “carefully reviewed and considered everyone’s viewpoints” and “have come to the decision that the Rizzo statue will be moved to a different location.”
“This decision comes at a time when we have begun the preliminary stages of planning to re-envision Paine Plaza as a new type of inviting and engaging public space,” DiBerardinis said. “We are working to plan and create a public space more in line with neighboring Dilworth Plaza and the soon-to-be unveiled Love Park.”
At this time, it’s not clear where the Rizzo statue will be moved. Kelly Lee, the city’s chief cultural officer, said officials are reviewing a “host of potential new locations” and that they “plan to do our due diligence on these locations before announcing the new site.”
“Our goal moving forward is to seamlessly relocate the statue to a new, more appropriate public location in the city,” Lee said.
The city will submit a proposal to the Art Commission when a site is chosen. Officials estimate it will take at least six months to prepare a proposal to the Art Commission after they’ve picked a new location.