International Workers' Day

Artist Sam Durant was pressured into taking down his 'Scaffold.' Why doesn't he feel censored?

Artist Sam Durant was pressured into taking down his 'Scaffold.' Why doesn't he feel censored?

The grassy mound at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden now lies empty.

Last month, a controversial sculpture by Los Angeles artist Sam Durant stood on the site. Titled “Scaffold,” it was a representation of seven gallows used in historic U.S. government executions, including those of abolitionist John Brown in 1859, four anarchists in Chicago’s 1886 Haymarket affair, credited as the inspiration for international workers’ May Day observances, and, in 1862, 38 Dakota men in Mankato, Minn. — the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Durant’s sculpture had been...

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