J Marion Sims
Sims will be removed thanks to the decision of a New York mayoral committee. Getty/DON EMMERT


  • A mayor-established committee has evaluated over 800 statues in the city.
  • Other monuments regarded as problematic remain, including one of Christopher Columbus.

A statue of a man known as the "father of modern gynaecology" is set to be removed due to his history of practising on black slaves during the mid 19th Century.

New York City officials said the monument of Dr. Marion Sims – whose legacy included developing a surgical technique to repair the vesicovaginal fistula, a severe complication of obstructed childbirth – must be moved from Columbus Circle to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where he is buried, AM New York reported.

New York mayor Bill de Blasio created an committee of 18 people to review over 800 monuments in New York following the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville – a violent reaction against the removal of Confederate statues.

The rally took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of last year and led to a counter-protester, Heather D. Heyer, dying after being rammed by a car. The incident triggered a debate in the role of destroying or preserving historical monuments that are now reminders of historical injustices.

De Blasio said last year that the panel would examine "all symbols of hate" in the city, such as Chirstopher Columbus.

The Sims statue was the only one the committee decided to remove, with their report explaining: "In its current location, the Sims monument has come to represent a legacy of oppressive and abusive practices on bodies that were seen as subjugated, subordinate, and exploitable in service to his fame."

Other statues that have been deemed problematic but will stay include Christopher Columbus, Theodore Roosevelt – showing the former president on a horse with indigenous and black men at his side – and Philippe Petain – a French general officer who became a Nazi collaborator in World War II.

The city will aim to "add context" to the the controversial monuments with additional information regarding the individual's human rights history as well as their achievements.

De Blasio's office have been contacted for a comment and IBTimes UK are awaiting a response.