Jersey City moving Polish statue — despite loud boos
JERSEY CITY — A new home for a statue commemorating a historic Polish battle was formally announced amidst protests against the plan.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said the Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial will be moved from Exchange Place to a new park to built on the waterfront on York Street.
"It’ll be an appropriate place to reflect on Katyn Massacre more than Exchange Place, which is used for celebrations," Fulop said in a message on his Twitter account. He also included an artists' rendition of what the park will look like. Fulop said the city will have a 99-year agreement with the Polish Consulate on the land.
"Our intentions were never to be disrespectful to the Polish community," Fulop said. "Most people have probably walked by the monument for the last several years and probably didn't appreciate the significance of what it meant. Certainly in the last two weeks, through the advocacy of the Polish community, that has changed. The goal of this is to give it the proper respect it is due, and at the same energize the waterfront."
In another message on his Twitter account, Fulop said that Polish president Andrzej Duda will also visit Jersey City this week.
The Katyn Forest Massacre Memorial Committee was in support of the the move and called it an appropriate location because of its proximity to World Trade Center steel.
Opponents to the move said Fulop is caving into developers and dishonoring the 22,000 members of the Polish military that died in the 1940 battle, and the human remains that make up the statue.
NJ.com reported that protesters at the meeting chanted "shame" at the formal announcement at City Hall.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.