You’re sneezing for a good cause.
Outrage over a “sexist” statue in Queens prompted its removal and a nearly $1 million project that transformed its base into a planter — but neglect has led to a bumper crop of allergy-causing ragweed right outside Borough Hall.
The centerpiece of the 1922 monument “Triumph of Civic Virtue” — a nude man with a sword standing over two female figures representing vice and corruption — was exiled to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery nearly a decade ago.
But following the statue’s removal, the fountain on which it stood fell into disrepair until the city spent $960,000 to restore its stonework and add lighting and benches to create the “Women’s Plaza in Queens” in 2017.
The fountain was also turned into a planter.
At the time, former Queens Borough President Claire Shulman — who had called for the statue’s removal while in office — said the renovation work created “a beautiful space at Borough Hall where people can relax and women will now be celebrated rather than denigrated.”
But since then, it’s again suffered from a lack of upkeep that includes ragweed growing in the former fountain.
Borough President Donovan Richards on Monday called the conditions “shameful” and said he wanted to finally replace the original statue with a new one.
Richards said that $2 million in funding was available from the city and that the candidates under consideration include Shulman, who died last year, former Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, who died in 2017, and the late singer and actress Lena Horne, who lived in the borough’s Addisleigh Park neighborhood.
“I may do the whole area over. New design. We can even rename it something else,” he said.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, who spearheaded the “Women’s Plaza” project when she was formerly borough president, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Weiner — who resigned his seat in Congress over a sexting scandal and later went to federal prison for sexting with a 15-year-old girl — downplayed his role in getting the original statue removed.
“My memory is that the [borough president] at the time or the [Parks Department] or someone basically told me to mind my business,” he said in an email.
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