Watch: With chainsaws and cheers, that controversial ‘Scaffold’ sculpture is being destroyed

It'll take a few days before it's completely gone.

Soon that controversial “Scaffold” sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will be gone for good.

On Friday, the Walker Art Center held a special ceremony. It was to kick off the destruction of the sculpture that was supposed to debut when the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden reopens – but it sparked outrage and protests. Now it's being torn apart and burned.

Dakota leaders led the ceremony, sharing music and praying over the people taking it down, FOX 9 reports.

Then the chainsaws revved up and the crowd of about 300 people cheered as boards started falling.

The structure depicts seven sets of gallows that were used in state-sponsored executions in the U.S. between 1859 and 2006, including when 38 Dakota men were killed in Mankato in 1862 following the U.S.-Dakota War – the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

People protested last weekend, calling for the structure’s removal. They argued it was insensitive and it trivialized genocide – especially since it was installed without consulting the Dakota themselves.

Afterwards, the Walker apologized and announced it would take the piece down. The dismantling is expected to take about four days.

Then the wood will be brought to the Fort Snelling area, which is where Dakota people were imprisoned following the U.S.-Dakota War. There will be a ceremony to burn the wood, but details on when that’ll be will be announced later.

The ordeal pushed back the reopening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden to to June 10. Then the exhibit will reopen with 15 new works of art.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Timberwolves smash Rockets in season opener

The Timberwolves showed they have plenty of firepower in a victory over Houston.

Knuth - Nezhad - side by side

Frey challengers Knuth, Nezhad agree to rank each other 2nd

They're urging supporters to do the same on Nov. 2.

Jerome Horton - Sherburne Co. Jail - CROP

Charges: Man lied to buy gun later used by St. Paul mass shooting suspect

He's accused of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

BCA releases investigative file in Winston Smith's shooting death

The file contains 1,000 pages of documents, hundreds of photos and dozens of audio files.


Fire at Mpls. pizza joint weeks after opening, owners suspect arson

The owners arrived at work Tuesday to find the building on fire.

vaccine, covid

New COVID charts show hospitalization, death rates based on vaccine status

The unvaccinated are far more likely than the fully vaccinated to become hospitalized or die.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

White House begins process to ban new mining near BWCAW

The stated goal is to protect the "unique natural wonder" of the BWCAW.

Autumn Merrick, Autumn Rose Merrick

Man charged in shootout, crash that killed 18-year-old on scooter

Autumn Rose Merrick was with a friend near the Holiday gas station.


The Walker Art Center will remove one of its new sculptures after protests

The Sculpture Garden is set to reopen on June 3 after two years of renovations.

Minnesota author Marlon James on the Sculpture Garden 'Scaffold' controversy

The A Brief History of Seven Killings author touches on progressive in-fighting, and Facebook's corrosive effect on discussion.

Quiz: How well do you know the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden?

Is that piece new? What does it mean? How much does that big spoon weigh?

Rally against Hennepin Co. Sheriff's involvement with N.D. pipeline

Activists rally against Hennepin County's involvement in the North Dakota pipeline protests.