Carousel controversy at Ontario Beach Park

Rochester, N.Y. - Is it a piece of historic art or offensive? That's the question being asked about a 110-year-old painting at the historic Dentzel Carousel at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte.

The panel is one of 18 that circles above the carousel. It depicts a caricature of two black children.

Brandon Fagan often brings his son to the carousel. He never noticed the panel, and once it was pointed out, he wasn't concerned.

"There's nothing racist about it at all. It's typical artwork. No problem for me," said Fagan.

Allison Schmitt, however, would like to see the panel removed.

"It is offensive to frankly, in our region, a large segment of our population," said Schmitt. "It should be removed and not destroyed, but taken for preservation."

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren would like to see a different approach.

"We have to recognize that these images represent a time in our community that we shouldn't forget about and an American culture that we shouldn't forget about," said Warren. "I think that this is a teachable moment."

According to a Monroe County Spokesperson, the carousel was made an historical landmark by the city of Rochester in 1980. Due to that, any changes to the carousel would most likely need to be approved by the city's preservation board.

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