Capitol’s paintings should go

The elimination of this artwork is essential to maintaining Minnesota’s political integrity.

Keelia Moeller

A  controversy has emerged in Minnesota regarding the offensive portrayal of American Indians in paintings displayed at the state capitol. The capitol building began renovation back in 2013 — a project that cost $309 million. The renovation is set for completion in 2017, but it seems four pieces of art in the capitol will reappear upon reopening, despite the fact that they negatively portray American Indians. 
 
These paintings portray American Indians attacking white people. They highlight the brutality of American Indian violence and include stereotypical American Indian garb, like feathered headdresses and bare-chested women.The issue in question is whether to display them as representations of the evolution of history or to simply remove them from the public eye.
 
Minnesota has recently defended the integrity of American Indian peoples by renaming the former “Columbus Day” as “Indigenous Peoples Day.” After a decision like that, 
proceeding to display historically inaccurate and racist portrayals of American Indians in such a politically important location would be both hypocritical and unwise.
 
If these paintings are not removed, some have suggested developing placards to explain the artworks’ historical and cultural inaccuracies. For my part, I think a good solution to the problem would be to replace the offensive paintings with more authentic pieces created by American Indians themselves. 
 
Cultural diversity in Minnesota is vital, and no culture deserves misrepresentation. Introducing placards or more positive artwork would be the wisest course of action.