Workers make quick progress dismantling 'Scaffold' at Walker

Most of the wooden pieces had been removed.
Most of the wooden pieces of the structure had been removed by Sunday morning, June 4, 2017. Only the metal supports and staircase remain.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Workers are making quick progress removing a controversial art installation from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

By Sunday morning, crews from a Dakota construction company had pulled down and cut up the heavy wooden timbers that formed the bulk of 'Scaffold.'

The work by artist Sam Durant was meant to be a commentary on capital punishment. It referenced gallows used in seven hangings throughout American History-- including the execution of 38 Dakota men in Mankato in 1862.

That drew a sharp rebuke from the Dakota community, who say they were never consulted about the work before its installation. After meeting with Dakota elders, the Walker Art Center -- which runs the sculpture garden -- ordered 'Scaffold' removed.

Durant has vowed never to erect it again, and has promised to transfer the intellectual property rights to the Dakota people.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.