MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of people have signed a petition to take down a statue of Christopher Columbus at the Minnesota State Capitol and replace it with one of Prince.
Nearly 5,000 people have signed the petition asking the state to remove the statue of the explorer, whom the petitioners accuse of atrocities against the Native Americans.
“We, the undersigned, do not believe that Columbus represents the values Minnesotans carry,” the petition reads. “Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not.”
State officials who regulate Capitol statues are cool to the idea. And not because of Prince.
They say any new memorials must have statewide significance, and the person must be dead 10 years — like statues commemorating Hubert Humphrey, Charles Lindbergh and Roy Wilkins.
“We want to protect this space for the general public and not just for people who want something to commemorate,” said Paul Mandell, of the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board.
In addition to erecting a statue to Prince, the petition also calls for a second unspecified statue, one selected by Native Americans.
Generally, it takes years — 10 years or more — to propose, design and build a statue or memorial at the Capitol.
Moreover, many statues never make it, such as those seeking to honor Bob Hope, Coya Knudson, and even Paul Wellstone.
The Capitol statue is not the only Prince project in the works.
Prince fans also are trying to get Prince’s home studio at Paisley Park declared a National Historic site.