PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says his administration will ask the Art Commission to hold hearings on the placement of a statue of former mayor Frank Rizzo after recent calls to have it removed.
A city council member’s tweet that the statue should come down set off a wave of protests, vandalism, and backlash from Rizzo fans defending the statue.
Mayor Kenney says the only way the matter can be settled is through the city policy for de-accessioning public art.
“It cannot emanate from council or from council or from some outside entity, it has to emanate from the administration as a request to the Art Commission to conduct a hearing or hearings relative to a decision to keep it there or move it somewhere specifically,” he said.
Kenney makes it clear he has better things to worry about.
“Twenty-six percent poverty rate, 907 people dying of opioid addiction last year in overdoses, our continued police community relations issues and it kind of diverts my attention and our staff’s attention to all this over a piece of metal,” he said.
Kenney says he expects the request to go to the Commission next week.