MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After backlash from a new piece in the Walker Art Center’s sculpture garden, the reopening of the park is being pushed back.

The controversy began when the piece “Scaffold” was unveiled last week. L.A.-based artist Sam Durant says he wanted to raise awareness of capital punishment, yet he drew from one of the darkest moments in Minnesota history.

the scaffold Walker Sculpture Garden Opening Postponed Amid Controversy

(credit: CBS)

The wooden structure resembles the Mankato Gallows, calling back to the mass hanging of 38 Dakota tribe members during the Dakota War of 1862. It remains the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

After outcry from local activists and Native Americans, Walker administrators agreed to take down the structure before the sculpture garden’s June 3 opening.

On Monday, the Walker announced it was pushing back that opening by a week — to June 10 — until after a meeting with Dakota tribal elders scheduled for May 31.

  1. Please folks, don’t let fear erase the controversial nature of art or we’ll end up with nothing but cherries and spoons to discuss.

    And keep history alive lest you forget and repeat it.

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