Cuomo commits state funding to honor Mother Cabrini with statue

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is promising to build a statue of Mother Frances Cabrini and says the state will commit up to $750,000 for the project.

Cuomo has been championing a monument to Mother Cabrini since the de Blasio administration left her off its list of women to be honored with a statue.

The Governor has already appointed a commission which will seek out design proposals. The members will include Angelo Vivolo of the Columbus Heritage Coalition and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Brooklyn Diocese.

The group will also help decide where to put the statue.

"Mother Cabrini was a great New Yorker and a great Italian-American immigrant who did untold good for the people of this state, and there is no doubt she is deserving of a statue in her honor," Governor Cuomo said. "With the help of this new commission, we are going to get this done to help ensure Mother Cabrini's legacy of service to her community and those who are less fortunate is remembered for generations to come."

Earlier this year, the "She Built NYC" taxpayer-funded program asked ordinary New Yorkers to choose exceptional women they wanted to see honored by statues.

In the effort led by Mayor Bill de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, Mother Cabrini, the Roman Catholic Church's first American saint, received the most votes but was not selected.

The decision triggered bickering on live radio between the mayor and actor Chaz Palminteri, angry that Cabrini was excluded. The mayor reassured him that the beloved saint would likely get a statue in the future.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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