Central Park Statue of Doctor Who Experimented on Slaves Defaced - NBC Chicago
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Central Park Statue of Doctor Who Experimented on Slaves Defaced

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Harlem leaders and residents have demanded for years that the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims, considered the father of modern gynecology, be taken down in Central Park -- and now they say their call has gotten a boost from Charlottesville. Andrew Siff reports.

    (Published Monday, Aug. 21, 2017)

    A controversial statue in New York of a doctor who operated on enslaved women has been defaced by a vandal who spray-painted the word "racist" on it.

    The graffiti defacing the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims in Central Park was discovered early Saturday, the Daily News reported.

    The word "racist" was written in back of the statue in red paint, and the figure's eyes and neck were marked with red paint as well.

    Sims was known as the father of modern gynecology. But critics say his use of enslaved African-American women as experimental subjects was unethical.

    Parks workers arrived later in the day to remove the paint, although some of it was still visible on Sunday. 

    Kristin Volk said statues pay tribute to someone and that we shouldn't be paying tribute to someone like Sims. 

    "I think the statue should come down, so I'm not opposed to the vandalism," Volk said. "It probably wasn't the right way to express your disatisfaction, but I am equally disatisfied and I think it should come down." 

    Maurizio Duerrero said he thinks the statue resembles a symbol of hate and should be removed. 

    "The fact it was defaced just shows that it aggrieved a lot of people and that many people are not happy with the statue being here," Duerrero said. 

    New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and others have called for the statue's removal.