Biden Admin to Remove William Penn Statue in ‘Rehabilitation’ of Park Dedicated to Pennsylvania Founder

Biden Admin to Remove William Penn Statue in ‘Rehabilitation’ of Park Dedicated to Pennsylvania Founder

UPDATE, Jan. 10, 2024: The National Park Service has reversed its decision to move a statue of William Penn from Philadelphia’s Welcome Park. Moving the statue was part of a draft proposal to “rehabilitate” the park, according to the NPS. “The preliminary draft proposal, which was released prematurely and had not been subject to a complete internal agency review, is being retracted,” the agency said in a statement on Monday. “No changes to the William Penn statue are planned.”

CORRECTION, Jan. 8, 2024: The statue of William Penn targeted for removal is on the ground in the “Welcome Park” in Philadelphia. An earlier version of this article confused it with another statue of the Pennsylvania founder atop City Hall.

The Biden administration is continuing its efforts to reshape American history.

In a news release Friday, the National Park Service, which is governed by the Department of the Interior, said it would remove the statue of Pennsylvania founder William Penn from the Welcome Park in Philadelphia in order to “rehabilitate” the area and “provide a more welcoming, accurate, and inclusive experience for visitors.”

“The park is located on the site of William Penn’s home, the Slate Roof House, and is named for the ship, Welcome, which transported Penn to Philadelphia,” the release said.

The statue, which was erected to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Penn’s founding of the colony of Pennsylvania, will be replaced by educational offerings about the history of Native American tribes, the NPS said.

“The proposed rehabilitation of Welcome Park includes expanded interpretation of the Native American history of Philadelphia and was developed in consultation with representatives of the indigenous nations of the Haudenosaunee, the Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, the Shawnee Tribe, and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma,” it said.

“The Penn statue and Slate Roof house model will be removed and not reinstalled,” the park service said.

“In a separate and future effort, new exhibit panels will be installed on the south site wall to replace the Penn timeline,” it said.

Members of the public were encouraged to provide feedback on the plans through a controlled public forum.

However, a post on the X platform by the Independence National Historical Park was met with an overwhelmingly negative reaction.

“Leave the statue right where it is,” one commenter wrote.

“How about no more of our tax money for the US Park Service?” another added.

William Penn arrived from England on the Welcome in the 1680s, according to the National Park Service.

The Penn statue in the “Welcome Park” is at ground level and includes his farewell ode to the city, imparting “what love, what care, what service, what travail have thee been to bring thee forth,” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Another statue of Pennsylvania’s founder sits atop City Hall.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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