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

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

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