Long lost statue honoring NYC's garment workers unveiled at new home after being rediscovered

Michelle Charlesworth  Image
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
Italian statue of seamstress donated to Italian American Museum
Michelle Charlesworth has the story in Little Italy on the statue.

LITTLE ITALY, Manhattan (WABC) -- A statue once considered lost forever is finally home in New York City.

It depicts a retired a master seamstress from flushing who is now 95-years old.

The piece of art was created by her employer in the Garment District where it was displayed for decades.

This statue was made to honor the hand-tailored garment workers of NYC and it will now be in the Italian-American Museum under reconstruction in Little Italy.

The statue of Maria Pulsone was made 40 years ago for a bespoke suit company, where it sat in the lobby where she worked for years.

Then it was lost for years but just months ago, Maria's family found it n this Pennsylvania warehouse.

The 95-year-old great grandmother who sat for it just saw it again.

"She never in a million years expected this," Denise Smith, Maria's granddaughter, said. How amazing that she still alive, 95-years-old, she's fantastic. She gets to see this day and her family had been looking for it for years found it in a warehouse in Scranton, Pennsylvania and they had done all this research and a deep dive.

Actually, they just Googled it.

"We Googled woman sewing statue, and there it was," Jennifer Pulsone, Maria's granddaughter, said.

They had to buy it from the antique warehouse for $600.

Maria was the best at what she did and also a true Italian American immigrant who came here in her 20's from Molise, Italy to find work, build a family and a better life.

"She became one of the best hand tailoring finishers for the last parts of a suit, putting everything together," Pulsone said.

Ms. Maria is blown away by all of this attention but also grateful her statue will be here.

"One thing that makes me happy one day I'll be gone and my great grandchildren can see me in the museum. I'm still alive," Maria said. "You can't give up even if you don't feel so good - what a gonna do?"


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