La Crosse Hiawatha Statue to be removed within 3 weeks

Removal to cost an estimated $15,000
The Hiawatha Statue in La Crosse's Riverside Park.
The Hiawatha Statue in La Crosse's Riverside Park.(WEAU)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:54 PM CDT
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La Crosse Parks and Recreation is moving forward with plans to remove the Hiawatha Statue in Riverside Park.

The removal will cost around $15,000 and take place in the next three weeks following the completion of road construction at the park.

Parks and recreation has been in communication with the artist’s family who say their priority is the safety and preservation of the statue.

The department is looking into replacing the statue, but will wait for emotions to calm first.

“I think that it’s something we need to make sure is well vetted, is more or less facilitated by the city rather than city-run, and obviously with the financial [effects of] Covid this is something that’s going to have to be capital campaigned for,” explained Jay Odegaard, La Crosse Parks and Recreation Director.

The replacement art will be funded through donations and sponsorships rather than taxpayer dollars, according to La Crosse Parks and Rec.

This week the Ho-Chunk Nation released a statement praising the removal saying the statue was “an inaccurate representation of Ho-Chunk people.”

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