ST. PAUL – Hutchinson has been added as a host for a series of meetings taking place throughout the state to discuss the $300 million renovation of the Minnesota State Capitol.
The Hutchinson meeting will take place 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at the McLeod County Historical Society (380 School Road N.W., Hutchinson). This is in addition to meetings already scheduled for Rochester, Minneapolis, Willmar, St. Paul, Mankato and Bemidji.
A main topic of discussion at meetings that have taken place so far addresses the unresolved question of what should be done with art that has adorned the Capitol for a century. The Capitol is home to nearly 150 works, including murals, painting, statues and busts. Images in some of the pieces – particularly in paintings – have become controversial.
As with the other forums, members of the Minnesota State Capitol Preservation Commission Subcommittee on Capitol Art will lead the discussion. This includes former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson, who co-chairs the panel, and Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. Urdahl, a former history teacher and author of several books on Minnesota history, said he is providing historical context and other insight at the meetings.
"This is a very important subject with many layers to it," Urdahl said. "I look forward to hearing what people have to say in Hutchinson, a city that has a rich connection to events from the late 1800s and an active arts community."