By Pat Kessler

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.”

(credit: CBS)

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.

Pat Kessler

Comments (3)
  1. How many thousands of people signing a petition would it require to put “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” in a wood chipper ?

  2. Prince represents Minnesota values? A man who bailed on a marriage due to a miscarriage? A man who threatened to sue Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam over the use of the Flyte Tyme brand THEY created? A man that threatened to sue his fans, when they weren’t gaining financially from his image or music? An insecure drug addict that twenty odd years prior would fire people for drug use? A man that overdosed because he wouldn’t trust people that cared about him? Please remeind me to never move to Minnesota if those are the values that are treasured, and that is the type of man Minnesotans revere.

  3. Congress shall pass no law respecting an establishment of religion — It pretty much says the same thing in the MN Constitution. That includes white people who are offended by everything, and are offended to kiss up to minorities for liberal brown nosing.

    Why not just put up a Prince statute and Keep the Columbus statue too? They can make the Prince statue really unique for tourism.