Statue gifted from sister city finds new home

After months of debate, the ‘Hatched Baby’ sculpture will have a home in La Crosse.

The city’s arts board says the 9-foot piece of art will eventually be put on the grounds of City Hall, possibly on the south lawn.

The sculpture was a gift to the city from an artist in La Crosse’s sister city of Friedberg, Germany, but the arts board hadn’t been able to find a spot to put the statue until now, forcing them to keep the statue in storage.

Doug Weidenbach, chair of the La Crosse Arts Board, says they’re happy the sculpture will finally be able to be seen by the public.

Weidenbach says, “it’s a triumph in as much as it’s not conventional artwork, and it’s getting an airing in the public. One of the worst things you can do with art is to store it in a chamber and have nobody see it.”

The arts board wants to get the ‘Hatched Baby’ out of storage and installed by March 15th.

Meanwhile, the board also continues to discuss the future of the Hiawatha statue at Riverside Park, which some have considered an offensive portrayal of Native Americans.

According to Weidenbach, “It’s never been the understanding that the way to solve this very tricky, difficult kind of sensitive issue is to just destroy it. That wouldn’t serve any public good. The thing that we need to do is we need to continue to have conversations.”

Members of the city council are scheduled to meet with representatives of the Ho Chunk nation about the statue on Monday.