This statue stands in Verdi Park on West 72nd street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. Our friend had driven us (myself, my wife, and our friend’s mother) into the city to see Spamilton. She had another stop to make and so dropped us off near the theatre. We had some time to kill and it turned out that we were right outside a Bloomingdales Outlet so the ladies went in to look around while I wandered around taking pictures.

According to the New York City Parks site:

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813–1901), one of the world’s most renowned composers, is immortalized by such operas as Aida, La Traviata, Otello, and Rigoletto, which are still performed regularly to great acclaim. This legacy is also captured in the Verdi Monument, created by Sicilian sculptor Pasquale Civiletti (1858–1952) in 1906. Made of Carrara marble and Montechiaro limestone, this statue depicts Verdi flanked by four of his most popular characters: Falstaff, Leonora of La Forza del Destino, Aida, and Otello.

The president of the Verdi Monument Committee, Carlo Barsotti (1850–1927), championed public recognition of pre-eminent Italians as a source of inspiration for New York’s large Italian-American community. As founder and editor of Il Progresso Italo Americano, he used his newspaper to raise funds for this project by public subscription. Barsotti was instrumental in erecting this monument as well as those honoring Christopher Columbus (1892) in Columbus Circle, Giuseppe Garibaldi (1888) in Washington Square Park, Giovanni da Verazzano (1909) and Dante Alighieri (1921) in Dante Square.

The Verdi monument was unveiled on October 12, 1906, the 414th anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of America. The day began with a march of Italian societies from Washington Square to the site at Broadway and West 72nd Street. Over 10,000 people attended the unveiling, attesting to the significance of the occasion in uniting Italian-Americans in celebration of their cultural and artistic heritage. The sculptures were unveiled by Barsotti’s grandchild who pulled a string that released a helium balloon, lifting the monument’s red, white and green shroud (the colors of the Italian flag). As it peeled away, a dozen doves – concealed in its folds – were released into the air, and flowers cascaded from the veil upon the participants.

By the 1930s the monument had suffered from the effects of weathering, pollution and vandalism, and underwent restoration, including the replacement of sculptural features. In 1974, Verdi Square was designated a Scenic Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, one of only eight public parks to receive this distinction. In 1996-97, the monument was again extensively conserved with funding from the Broadway/72nd Street Associates.

A permanent monument maintenance endowment has been established by Bertolli USA, Inc. Additional funds for landscaping designed by Lynden Miller have been donated by Harry B. Fleetwood, and the Verdi Square landscape has been endowed in memory of musician James H. Fleetwood.

The man himself.

I believe the two figures are Leonora (from La Forza del Destino) and Otello (from the opera of the same name).

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