Two La Crosse city committees have now voted to have the Hiawatha statue in Riverside Park taken down.
The original vote last week by the park board reportedly was the binding decision which will lead to removal of the 60-year-old concrete Indian.
On Friday, the La Crosse arts board voted to support that decision.
Board chair Jennifer Williams read a resolution declaring that the 25-foot statue represents racism and ‘colonialism,’ and has had ‘harmful effects’ on the community.
The resolution also says removing Hiawatha is not meant as a sign of disrespect to the artist, long-time Central High School art teacher Anthony Zimmerhakl, who was commissioned to make the statue in the early 1960’s as a tourist attraction.
The timing of removing the statue from Riverside Park hasn’t been worked out yet, and park director Jay Odegaard says a contract for removal could be considered by the park board next month.
and a previous story by WIZM News used the word ‘contest’ to describe that procedure.
The board says this should not be considered a ‘contest,’ although the proposed procedure might include applications by artists, review by a jury, and selection of finalists before a specific project is authorized.