A caged gorilla statue removed from a Texas park earlier this week after complaints calling it “racially insensitive” will be put back — but this time, without the big black cage.
The famous gorilla statue that’s sat at Corsicana’s Community Park for the last two decades was removed on Monday, Feb. 26, after Mayor Don Denbow said he received 45 complaints from locals who deemed the 500-pound piece “potentially racially insensitive,” local station Fox 4 reported. The structure features a large gorilla with its arm raised, surrounded by the cage.
News of the statue’s removal sparked outrage among some residents, however. Some locals accused others of being too sensitive while others griped about not having a say in whether the gorilla should stay or go.
“If they were that sensitive, they would do a whole lot of things like come vote,” resident Gertrude Richardson told the station. “If they are really sensitive, they could come to the city commissioner’s meeting.”
The gorilla, which served as the park’s centerpiece up until Monday when the mayor and city decided to remove it, is one of several animal statues in the area. Denbow said the structure was ultimately caged out of concern for children’s safety.
“Then they first put it up 18 years ago, they went and watched kids on it,” he said. “And it would swing back and forth. And this is a piece of art that weighs close to 500 pounds.”
In a statement to Fox News on Thursday, the mayor confirmed that the statue would return to the park “with some modification.” The cage that once surrounded the gorilla will be removed and structural support will be added to its arm to keep it from toppling
“… The city has assessed the structural integrity of the gorilla statue and determined with some modification that it can be placed back in the community park for children to play on or around,” Denbow said in a statement. “The city has plans to reinstall the statue as soon as weather permits.”