Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fountain Hills dedication of Washington and Jefferson statues on Presidents Day -- effort to rewrite history!

Monday is Presidents Day, which makes it a fitting day to dedicate two statues that have been donated to the Town of Fountain Hills by unnamed residents. The bronze statues, one of George Washington and one of Thomas Jefferson, have been placed in Fountain Park. The dedication is scheduled for Monday afternoon at 2pm.

In a December 2014 meeting, the Fountain Hills town council approved a motion accepting the gift, with a stated value at $80,000. From page 6 of the minutes from the December 18, 2014 council meeting,
Community Services Director Mark Mayer Addressed the Council relative to this agenda item and advised that included in the Council's packets are copies of a letter from the Chair of the Public Art Committee, which details the two pieces. He noted that "George Washington" and "Thomas Jefferson" are both life size bronze sculptures created by Colorado artists George and Mark Lundeen and are being donated by local residents. He pointed out that a fundraising campaign is currently going on. He stated that the Public Art Committee has requested that the Town agree to accept and place them on public display in Fountain Park. He reported that the pieces are valued at $80,000 and the cost to insure the pieces will be $344 annually. He displayed pictures of the art pieces (copies of which are available on line and in the office of the Town Clerk) and said that the intent is to place them in the southwest corner of the park where the other Presidential art pieces have been placed.
View the sculptures on pages 162 and 163 of the council packet from the December 18 meeting. They are certainly impressive pieces of art.

This intrigues me because, as I have been told, a plaque allegedly containing quotes of statements made by Jefferson is due to accompany the statue. "Allegedly" being the operative word.

Most of these quotes and quips have been disavowed by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. According to the Foundation,

The bottom line is that the plaque was NOT approved by the council on December 18. My sources tell me that the plaque, which apparently was already put with the statues, may be taken down when staff and members of the Public Art Committee determine that the quotes are not properly attributable to the third President of the United States.

Questions that should be asked of and/or by members of the Fountain Hills Town Council include (but are not necessarily limited to):
  • Why was the plaque not included in the December 18 presentation or agenda packet for the members?
  • Who (on the Public Art Committee) came up with the hare-brained scheme to put quotes thought to be from Jefferson on the plaque?
  • Who should be held responsible for failing to determine the veracity of the quotes?
Now, given that only one of the quotes can be properly attributed as claimed by the Public Art Committee, where DID those quotes come from and what was the real intent to include such dubious information on an official piece of art installed in a Town park?

1 comment:

  1. The "quotes" are meant to push an agenda. Nothing more, nothing less.