Missouri House members want to respond to Russia’s Attack on the Ukraine.
On Tuesday House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher (R-St. Louis) filed House Bill 2913 which would bar all public entities or private entities which receive public funds from contracting with Russia. The prohibition would extend to any country which occupies or attacks Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Georgia, or a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member.
On Wednesday Representatives Plocher and Haffner participated in a media conference with Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe (R) and legislative assistant Igor Shalai, a native of Ukraine, who spoke about what his family is experiencing.
For the first time since 1924 the statue of Ceres is no longer on the top of the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.
The 10-foot, four inches tall and 2,000 pound bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, was placed on the Capitol dome on October 29, 1924. It was taken down off of the dome Thursday morning by crane so that it can undergo cleaning and conservation.
The removal of the statue from the top of the dome took approximately five hours.
The statue was available for public viewing on the south side of the Capitol for a few hours before crews began preparing it to be taken to Chicago. It is expected to be placed back atop the dome after roughly a year.
Ceres’ removal and restoration is part of an approximately $50-million project to restore and repair the exterior of the Capitol.
Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe said the Capitol’s water damage is somewhat visible from the ground, but when he was up on the dome with the crews that prepared the Ceres statue for removal, it was much more apparent.
Dana Miller is the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House and Chairwoman of the Missouri Capitol Commission. She said the removal of Ceres is the latest step in the years-long project to restore the Capitol. She said the exterior work represents the second phase of that project, which is about one-third complete.
After the second Capitol building in Jefferson City was destroyed by fire following a lightning strike in 1911, Missourians voted to approve tax funding for a new Capitol. The tax generated approximately $1-million more money than was needed for construction of the Capitol, but all the money it generated had to be used on the building. The remaining $1-million went into the artwork found around and throughout the Capitol, including the Ceres statue.
Historian and author Bob Priddy said that commission chose Ceres to adorn the dome because Missouri is an agrarian state. Some have suggested that she should then face north because most of Missouri’s best cropland is found in that half of the state. Priddy said she faces south because the main entrance of the Capitol is on its south side.
The Ceres statue will be taken to the Conservation of Sculpture and Objects Studio, Inc, in Chicago, for cleaning and conservation. The last time it underwent such work was in 1995 when a crew restored her to prevent deterioration, but the work was done while the statue remained on the dome.
The statue was created by sculptor Sherry Fry of Iowa. Some historians believe the statue was modeled after Audrey Munson, a silent film star known as America’s first supermodel, who was the model for countless statues in the nineteen teens and nineteen twenties.
Brown said those who didn’t get to see the statue up close today will have another chance before it is returned to the top of the dome.