City’s Cultural Affairs leader leaves after Mother Cabrini statue controversy

Tom Finkelpearl (File)

“I thank him for his dedicated service to the city,” the mayor said in a statement.

The city and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl are parting ways, the mayor’s office announced on Halloween.

Finkelpearl, who was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2014 leaves after some weeks of controversy regarding a proposed statue of Italian-American icon Mother Frances Cabrini, which was snubbed by the city despite the statue’s widespread public support — a process that Finkelpearl was involved in.

There’s no indication, at this point, that his departure from city government is connected to the situation.

“We’ve insisted that a more diverse cultural workforce will make stronger cultural institutions. We’ve infused hundreds of millions of dollars in the cultural sector, with a focus on getting more of it to historically underserved areas,” Finkelpearl said through a note of departure. “It has been deeply gratifying to witness and support the indispensable role that art and culture play in the lives of all New Yorkers.”

Previously, Finkelpearl was the executive director of the Queens Museum of Art in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where he was accoladed for his “celebrating Queens and understanding what it is we have that others don’t” attitude, which brought great success to the museum.

“He has touched the lives of millions of everyday New Yorkers with the joys of art, history and nature and I thank him for his dedicated service to the city,” de Blasio said.

Alex Mitchell