US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor returned Thursday to the Bronx community, where she grew up, to watch the unveiling of her bronze statue at a mall in the heart of the community.
In brief comments after the resemblance was revealed, Sotomayor, 68, said it was “always so heartwarming” to return to the neighborhood and that she was “deeply touched” by the bust with the Bronx Terminal Market.
Sotomayor, who served as the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice when she was sworn in in 2009, said she hopes every child who sees her statue in Bronx Market knows she’s a proud local.
“I love the Bronx. I love my community,” she said.
Justice said she grew up a few miles from the mall, which occupies the site of a former wholesale fruit and vegetable market that has been a neighborhood landmark for generations.
The bust, surrounded by protective glass, bears her name on the base. It is surrounded by plaques containing a brief biography of the judiciary.
Sotomayor marveled at how closely the sculpture resembled her, noting how curly her hair was and noting with a laugh that on Thursday she appeared to be wearing similar dangling earrings to those commemorated on the statue.
“It’s pretty amazing. Looks a lot like me,” she said.
“I think they maybe improved the original a little bit,” she joked.
After looking through the glass at the bust, Sotomayor spoke to about a dozen people who had gathered and noted wistfully that her mother, Celina Báez, had died last year, but if she had been there on Thursday, “she would have burst with pride”.
Sotomayor posed with several local eighth graders, who helped unveil the sculpture but did not answer questions.
The statue at the Bronx Terminal Market mall is near Yankee Stadium, home of the beloved Justice League baseball team.
The bust was sculpted by artists Gillie and Marc. Sotomayor called them “two visionary artists who, like me, share a passion for community service.”
“I’m honored to be part of their vision,” she added.
The duo also created a bronze statue of the late former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which was unveiled in her hometown of Brooklyn last year.
https://nypost.com/2022/09/09/justice-sonia-sotomayor-returns-to-bronx-for-statue-unveiling/ Judge Sonia Sotomayor returns to the Bronx for the unveiling of the statue