In an effort to spur public debate, a University of Minnesota artist erected a statue of former President George W. Bush for about two hours Monday on Northrop Mall.
The 18-foot inflatable statue, created by art student Broc Blegen, included an inscription that called Bush “one of our greatest patriots.” It sat on the lawn in front of Northrop Auditorium until about 3 p.m.
University Facility Management asked Blegen to take down the statue two hours after he inflated it.
Blegen, who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, said the statue was not a political statement, but a form of public art meant to create a discussion about the role history plays in constructing monuments of public figures.
The University sophomore said he decided to inflate the statue Monday in the wake of Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden’s death because the “War on Terror” was an important part of Bush’s presidency.
The statue was first assembled in Washington, D.C., at Obama’s inauguration, where Blegen was also told to take it down.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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