DENVER (CBS4) – A statue which was toppled over in Denver is now on display inside the History Colorado Center. People knocked it over during the racial injustice protests at the Colorado State Capitol.
The statue is of a Union soldier from the Civil War. Protesters objected to it because of the military’s role in the Sand Creek Massacre.
“These are very historic times we are living in,” said Dawn DiPrince, COO of History Colorado. “Our work is as important as ever.”
“On Guard” is a bronze statue and stands nearly eight feet tall. The museum staff intentionally placed it at ground level, and along a staircase where visitors can get a 360 degree view from a higher angle.
DiPrince said the placement gave guests an opportunity to have a new perspective on a statue which once was high above ground.
The statue is also still damaged, and has paint from the protests and riots on it. Much of the damage and vandalism has been corrected. However, the museum staff displayed it in the condition they received it.
“We see it as an artifact that is really designed to spur conversation, deeper investigation about rich history, and sometimes tragic history of our state,” DiPrince told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Visitors are given the chance to write out their thoughts about the statue, which can be left to hang on the wall.
Allison Guerin, a visitor, said she appreciated the statue being on display in the museum,.
“It is definitely way more appropriate here than out in the world that it is now. Because, now we can learn the history,” Guerin said. “Now I know the backstory, and I can make my own decision on whether or not it is a good thing or not.”
“We want conversation. We want dialogue. We want to demonstrate the ways in which we can have conversations about controversial things in a civil way that lifts us up, instead of tears us down and further polarizes us,” DiPrince said.
If you would like to see the statue it will be on display for the next year at History Colorado. After that, as of now, the statue will be returned to the state’s possession.
Admission to History Colorado is free every weekend until the election. Read their full statement about the decision to display the statue.