Nutter Puts "Christmas" Back In Village After Controversy

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Crews had removed the word "Christmas" from the sign at Dilworth Plaza. (Vance Lehmkuhl / Staff)

Breaking News from City Hall: 

Christmas is back.

Mayor Nutter, after sustaining two days of controversy, wants "Christmas" back up on the signs at the entrance to the German Christmas Village at City Hall.  Nutter told PhillyClout he spoke with the village organizer and the sign should be back up by tomorrow. 

Nutter said the decision came after "personal reflection" on the matter.

"We are an international, multi-ethnic, multi-faith city," Nutter said. "I took some time to step back from all of this to think about it in a larger context."

Nutter, who said he had nothing to do with the orignal conversations with the organizer that lead to the letters being removed, downplayed how much impact the national news coverage had on the decision. Nutter said that he felt the village was not necessarily a religious site.

"The Christmas Village is not a religious service. It's an outdoor fair. It's a very commercial enterprise," Nutter said.

The tempest in a holiday teapot kicked off Monday when workers were spotted taking the word Christmas off the archways into the traditional German Christmas Village outside City Hall in Dilworth Plaza. The organizer took down the word after Managing Director Richard Negrin told him the city had received complaints.

In a statement yesterday, Thomas Bauer of the German American Marketing, Inc., said the move was in "response to what the Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia asked for."

Negrin said that he never specifically asked for the word to be removed, but talked with Bauer about the complaints.

"He's a great guy who saw a problem, who was trying to help me," Negrin said.

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