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Progress Report Shows State Capitol Restoration Project is on Track

August 15, 2016 05:41 PM

A progress report gave more information Monday about the massive restoration project at the Minnesota State Capitol.

The $309 million project started nearly three years ago, and 95 percent of that work is expected to be finished by the start of the next legislative session in January.

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Some of the areas recently completed include the basement, Capitol Plaza and east, west and north wings.

The governor’s office along with the House, Senate and Supreme Court chambers are just a few areas on the list to be substantially complete by Dec. 31.

Decorative paintings, mill work, flooring, copper roofs and temporary parking lots should be complete by early January.

Gov. Mark Dayton voiced some concern about work on the Quadriga, the famous golden horses at the top of the capitol. He said the project has been starting and stopping more than he would like.

But the commissioner for the Department of Administration says everything is on track to be completed.

“This is the largest restoration capitol asset project in the history of the state of Minnesota at $310 million, and we’re about a year out from completing the project, and so we’re in good shape,” Commissioner Matt Massman said. “We’ll just be keeping the project moving along today."

On Monday, crews were also seen moving the Senate desks out of the new Senate office building. They were loaded into protective boxes and carted across the parking lot back to the capitol.

Senators had hosted floor sessions in their new building while the capitol chambers were being renovated.

Minnesota Capitol Art

Also, a panel overseeing renovation of Minnesota's Capitol is moving to relocate two controversial paintings with depictions of Native Americans that some have deemed offensive.

The paintings, "Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony" and "The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux," have been criticized for inaccurately portraying historical events. They've been displayed for years in the governor's reception room, but a panel of the Capitol Preservation Committee reviewing art at the Capitol released a report Monday saying they should be moved.

The panel recommends relocating the paintings to another spot within the Capitol but doesn't suggest new locations. There aren't any recommendations for replacement art.

The panel wrote in its report that it consulted with tribal leaders on the matter as part of its research.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Credits

Jennie Lissarrague and Cleo Greene

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