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Statue of divisive Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo is removed

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Workers removed the statue early Wednesday of controversial former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, which was recently defaced during a protest following George Floyd’s death.

As National Guard troops deployed in the wake of recent protests watched, a crane lifted the 10-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) bronze statue and workers shook it from its stand outside the Municipal Services Building, across from City Hall. It was loaded onto the back of a truck.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he “never liked” the statue Monday and announced a plan to move the statue later this month.

“I can’t wait to see it go away,” Kenney said.

The statue was frequently targeted by vandals and there had been calls in recent years to remove the figure of the former mayor. Kenney had pledged to move the statue to another location in 2021.

Supporters said Rizzo, who also served as the city’s police commissioner, was tough on crime while critics said he discriminated against minorities.

It is not clear where the statue was taken.

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