US: It seems there was a statue of Mohammed in New York for fifty years

The Appellate Courthouse in Manhattan, where a statue of the Prophet Muhammad once stood on top with other great lawgivers. Credit Bryan R. Smith for The New York Times

nyc_mo0001The only photo of the statue I can locate (easily) on the Internet

For the first half of the 20th century, an eight-foot-tall marble statue of the Prophet Muhammad overlooked Madison Square Park from the rooftop of the Appellate Division Courthouse at Madison Avenue and 25th Street.

Sixty years ago, the statue was quietly removed, in an episode that now looks, in light of recent events in Paris, like the model of tact, restraint and diplomacy.

What had spared the sensibilities of Muslim passers-by from 1902 to 1955 was that “Muhammad,” by the Mexican sculptor Charles Albert Lopez, was among nine other lawgivers, including Confucius and Moses.

After New York’s polluted air had finished with the sugary stone, trying to figure out who was whom from street level, three very tall stories below the courthouse rooftop, would have been a fool’s game…

…“They probably didn’t know he was there,” George T. Campbell, the chief clerk of the Appellate Division, First Department, said in 1955, when the statue was finally removed out of deference to Muslims, to whom depictions of the prophet are an affront.

(For the same reason, The New York Times has chosen not to publish photographs of the statue with this article)…

…It was not until 1953, when the Appellate Division announced that long-needed repairs were to be made at the crumbling courthouse, that the identity of one of the statues as a representation of Muhammad was widely recalled…

Public discussion of the project, however, had alerted the embassies of Egypt, Indonesia and Pakistan to the existence of “Muhammad.” They asked the State Department to intervene with the city’s public works commissioner…


As always, NYT appeases Muslims big time, whilst happily insulting other religions.

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