NYC Statue Commission Has First Meeting, Closed to Public and Press

NEW YORK (AP) -
Columbus statue
The Christopher Columbus statue in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

A commission put together by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to come up with guidelines for controversial statues on city property has had its first meeting, but is getting criticism for not letting the public or the media be there.

The Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments and Markers met Tuesday. Co-chairs Tom Finkelpearl and Darren Walker say there will be an online survey for public input and several public forums.

But The New York Press Club says that it was “surprised and dismayed” that the meeting was closed, and that all future meetings should be open.

De Blasio put the commission together following protests over Confederate statues around the country. The conversation has expanded to other figures, like Christopher Columbus, which has prompted a backlash from some.