Wisconsin receives grant to restore two statues damaged by protests

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FILE – In this June 23, 2020 file photo, Wisconsin’s “Forward” statue lies in the street on Capitol Square in Madison, Wis. Demonstrators who toppled statues this week honoring Hans Christian Heg, a Civil War abolitionist, and the state’s “Forward” motto say they went after the sculptures because they wanted to shatter a false narrative that the state and the city support Black people and have achieved racial equity. (Emily Hamer/Wisconsin State Journal via AP File)

MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Two federal grants totaling $60,000 were awarded to Wisconsin to assist with the restoration costs of two statues.

Gov. Tony Evers announced that the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) was awarded two federal grants totaling $60,000 to assist with the restoration costs of the “Forward” and Col. Hans Christian Heg statues that were damaged earlier this year.

The grants are from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

“This is great news and we appreciate the NEH and NEA for their support in restoring and preserving our state history. I look forward to not only getting Col. Heg and Forward back up on their feet at the Capitol, but also exploring new options to make the Capitol grounds a more accurate reflection of our state’s diversity and history,” says Gov. Evers.

Back in June, Gov. Evers activated the National Guard to protect state properties after a night of violence that included the toppling of two statues outside the state Capitol, one of which commemorated an abolitionist Civil War hero.

The restoration process for both statues began following approval of the SCERB in July. The statues are anticipated to be reinstalled in the summer of 2021.

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