The article about the fate of the Skowhegan Indian and the comments to it online are very upsetting (“Skowhegan Indian sculpture could be removed if chamber of commerce cannot find new owner,” March 26). I am writing to encourage the residents of Skowhegan to take responsibility for the preservation of the Indian. It is Skowhegan’s identifying landmark, the most outstanding piece in the extensive Langlais Art Trail and an irreplaceable tribute to Maine and Skowhegan’s Indian heritage.

The Chamber of Commerce, Maine Street Skowhegan, and the Board of Selectmen, instead of pointing out their skepticism about restoring the Indian and considering selling the sculpture, should work together in the conviction that the Indian needs to be preserved. A fundraising campaign would be a more positive idea.

Skowhegan is very much part of the sightseeing tour through central Maine, from New Balance to the Margaret Chase Smith Library, the Old Jail with Maine Grains and the Miller’s Table, the Old Mill Pub, Coburn Park, the Philbrick Trail and the many Langlais sculptures throughout town, including the animal sculptures surrounding the Indian. Children love those.

It is incomprehensible that Skowhegan Main Street, with its great successes in fundraising for the Skowhegan River Park and the revitalization of downtown, is not willing to spend money for the restoration of its most unusual landmark, the “Skowhegan Indian.” Overlooking the parking lot where the farmers’ market is held, the sculpture could be the focal point of a marketplace that Skowhegan is now missing and become part of a community park or plaza.

Over many years, Colby College, The Colby College Museum of Art, the Kohler Foundation, the Georges River Land Trust, among others, have invested money, manpower and expertise into the creation of the Langlais Art Preserve in Cushing and the Langlais Art Trail. This commitment needs to be supported.

It is time for the people of Skowhegan to contribute to the work that has been done for their town’s advancement and to take pride in its unique cultural manifestations and to pay tribute to its history.

Ulla Reidel-Schrewe


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