Plans to get a statue of Ohio native son Thomas Alva Edison to Statuary Hall in Washington finally are getting off the ground.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission sent a Request for Qualifications to artists to create a statue of Edison. The commission will pick five finalists after the initial submission deadline on May 5.
A hurry-up schedule was announced Tuesday, nearly four years after Ohioans voted for Edison over the Wright Brothers as one of the state’s two entries in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capital, and two years after the plan received approval from the General Assembly.
The five finalists will be selected by May 26 and will be given until June 30 to submit a conceptual model of the inventor and entrepreneur born in Milan. The winner will be selected on July 14, subject to final approval from the Architect of the U.S. Capitol and the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.
No timeline was announced for completion of the statue. Likewise, no mention was made of where the estimated $2 million for the project will come from, although major donors are being sought. Reportedly, less than $50,000 has been raised thus far, most of it directly from Milan residents.
The statue of Edison, known worldwide for his work on the incandescent light bulb, movie camera and phonograph, will replace one of William Allen, Ohio’s 31st governor, whose statue was installed in 1887. Allen’s Civil War-era, pro-slavery views were deemed inappropriate to represent modern-day Ohio. The state’s other statue, of slain President James A. Garfield, will remain.
By Alan Johnson - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)
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