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Jersey City mayor accused of bowing to pressure from developers: report

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 10.05.2018 12:07
A Jersey City mayor has been accused of bowing to pressure from real estate developers after he recently announced plans to remove a statue honouring Polish victims of WWII, according to Polish website niezalezna.pl.
Exchange Place. Photo: Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)Exchange Place. Photo: Gryffindor/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

During a Jersey City council meeting on Wednesday, Mayor Steven Fulop was accused of ignoring the local Polish community and of bowing to developers who funded his run for governor of New Jersey, niezalezna.pl said, citing media reports from the US state.

Last month, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said that Exchange Place – which has been the statue’s home for 27 years – would be redeveloped and that the statue would be put in storage.

This drew anger from the Polish community in the US and from officials in Poland.

The Polish community told Jersey City councillors on Wednesday that the monument should remain in Exchange Place, niezalezna.pl said.

According to the Polish community, the statue commemorating the 1940 massacre of 22,000 Poles by the Soviets has historic, educational and emotional value, niezalezna.pl reported.

They also noted that the base of the monument featured a plaque dedicated to the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attack on the US, niezalezna.pl said.

Since announcing that the statue would be removed, Fulop has said that it needs to be renovated but that ultimately it would stand in a “respected” place, public broadcaster Polish Radio reported.

He also said he would talk to the Polish community before it is put back “in the public view in a respected location in the city,” Polish Radio added.

The monument features a 10-metre-tall bronze figure of a soldier – who has been gagged and bound and impaled by a bayonetted rifle – mounted on top of a granite base containing soil from the Katyn Forest in western Russia where thousands of Poles were murdered by Soviet secret police during World War II. (vb)

tags: Jersey City
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