City Honors Sun Yat-Sen with Plaza and Permanent Statue in Columbus Park
Mayor de Blasio, Councilwoman Margaret Chin, and other politicians this week dedicated a slice Chinatown’s Columbus Park to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen. This past Tuesday, what would have been the 153rd birthday of the founding father of China, also marked the return of the bronze statue after the city excavated a new permanent home.
The area fete of Sun Yat-Sen Plaza notwithstanding, locals are quick to point out that the action is largely tied to the now-approved borough-based Chinatown jail. It was widely reported that the dedication and permanent installation of the eight-year-old statue (sculpted by Taiwanese artist Lu Chun-Hsiung) were “givebacks” to Chinatown in exchange for Chin’s backing of the plan. (Other purported concessions include renovation of the restrooms within the park and a “community theater” to be established within the Museum of Chinese in America.)
As for the lame duck mayor, de Blasio is showing his face more downtown. At least five times in the last year. Strange, since hizzoner hadn’t really visited Chinatown until opposition to the proposed jail at 125 White Street became such an issue.