The Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board (CAAPB) is conducting a series of meetings focused on establishing a proactive, transparent, and public process to evaluate the monuments and artwork displayed on the Capitol Grounds, aside from MN Statute 15B.08, Subd. 3, there is no formal CAAPB process that addresses the potential removal of monuments and artwork from the Capitol grounds.
The first meeting, held virtually on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 1:00pm, focused on clarifying the existing statutory responsibilities of the CAAPB in order to provide a shared understanding of jurisdictional authority moving forward. Future meetings will establish a process by which artwork displayed on the Capitol Grounds might be evaluated for potential alteration, re-interpretation, relocation, or removal.
“We are in a moment when we need to have real conversations about the symbols and imagery that are in these public spaces and who makes those decisions,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “It is our job to create a space for those conversations. As Chair of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board, I am excited to engage in a proactive, transparent, and public process where Minnesotans can be heard.”
“As the Executive Secretary for the CAAPB Board since 2014, and with the Board staff since 1987, I have seen changes - and many additions - all made to enhance the visitor experience of the Capitol and Capitol Mall. Changes to existing artwork in the Capitol Building have come about in direct response to a formal request from groups of Minnesotans. Other changes were made through thoughtful actions of not just the CAAPB and Minnesota Historical Society but the Capitol Preservation Commission during the recently completed restoration of the Capitol Building.”
“The events of the last few weeks have highlighted the importance of memorials in public memory and history,” said Kent Whitworth, CEO and director of the Minnesota Historical Society. “We know that statues and monuments symbolize and represent different ideas to different people and in the coming days, MNHS will be offering opportunities for learning and community conversation on this important topic.”