Minerva Pedestal revealed at Blasco Library


Sheryl Thomas

Erie, PA – Today the culmination of the Erie County Public Library’s Minerva pedestal project was dedicated at Blasco Library. The ceremony was attended by County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, Friends of the Library members, library staff, and several donors that made the project possible.

In 2019 the Minerva statue returned to Blasco Library and initiated a restoration and public art project. A local conservator, Russ Banks, was commissioned to perform restoration work including recreation of missing pieces and repair of the 100-plus-year-old plaster statue. Restorations are still underway and are expected to conclude in the coming weeks.

The statue was housed intermittently in the Michele Ridge Galleria and historic items vault at the Blasco Library as fundraising efforts and a public art project ensued. The Friends of the Library solicited 98 names and many anonymous donors who collectively raised $13,752.73 toward the completion of the pedestal and restoration of the statue.

The public art project included the design and construction of a large pedestal to display Minerva at her permanent location — as decided by the public via online surveys. A request for qualifications launched with the aid of Erie Arts & Culture to locate a suitable artist for the pedestal. A selection committee reviewed applicants and selected Adam Stempka of MetalHeads USA to complete the pedestal project.

The pedestal and statue are now available for public viewing in the center of Blasco Library near the staircase.


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