Sculptor of controversial statue weighs in

With a statue of Sir John A. Macdonald scheduled to be removed from outside Victoria City Hall Saturday, the artist who created it has written to Mayor Helps, and shared the letter on Twitter.

John Dann says " I created it -- I stand by what I created."

The Vancouver artist learned the statue, was coming down only Thursday, the same day council voted to go along with a recommendation of an advisory group wanting it removed as a gesture of reconciliation.  

Dann immediately penned a letter to Mayor Helps saying while he won't stand in the way of the city's decision, he would have preferred to have been part of a discussion with those wishing it removed.

Dann maintains although J.A. Macdonald is the title of the piece, it is a work of art, representing humanity.  He explains Macdonald was representative of the prevailing thought of the day, when European empire builders viewed First Nations as savages due to their lack of a European education, or belief in God.

He says there's no question a genocidal wave over a few centuries swept away Native cultures, and caused suffering and deprivation, which is why he understands a hostile reaction to his sculpture.

The artist says if his sculpture can engender a discussion about the violence inflicted on Native peoples, he is honoured, but isn't sure removing it is the best way to accomplish this.  

While he acknowledges the creation belongs to the city, and they may do with it as they please governed by law -- he reminds Helps that includes artist's rights.

The bronze statue was made in 1981, and was installed outside City Hall on July 1st (Canada Day) 1982.







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