Friday marked the beginning of the demolition "Scaffold" — a controversial sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
The decision to dismantle followed mass condemnation of the piece for its use of elements based on the hanging of 38 Dakota Indian men in Mankato in 1862.
Gwen Westerman, a professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato, who teaches about American Indian history, spoke with MPR News host Steven John about "Scaffold" and the reaction to it.
"A lot of people were just amazed, and not in a good way, that we would have to explain why those gallows hold such deep cultural and emotional significance for us as Dakota people," she said.
Still, because of the public outcry more people are learning about Dakota history, she said.
"Anytime we can learn something, even when it's difficult, that's a good thing," Westerman said.
To listen to their conversation, click the audio player above.