MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Navy will let Wisconsin keep its beloved badger statue for 50 more years, scrapping plans to maneuver the sculpture to an East Coast museum.
The statue, sculpted from melted-down cannons seized from Cuba throughout the Spanish-American War, was affixed to the primary USS Wisconsin earlier than World War I. The U.S. Naval Academy Museum lent it to the state in 1988. It has sat exterior the governor’s workplace within the state Capitol since 1989, delighting 1000’s of vacationers who rub its nostril for good luck.
The academy museum contacted state officers in March 2020 asking for the statue’s return so it might be lent to the nonprofit Nauticus Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, the place the second USS Wisconsin is berthed as an exhibit.
State historians balked, and U.S. (*50*). Mike Gallagher, a Wisconsin Republican and former Marine, joined the trouble to keep the statue in Madison. The Navy final February agreed to increase the mortgage for two more years.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers despatched Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro a letter in November asking that the Navy switch possession of the statue to the state completely.
“The Badger should remain in Wisconsin where it is seen by tens of thousands of visitors each year and is one of the most popular and beloved attractions in our beautiful state Capitol building,” Evers wrote. “The Badger is not only part of the USS Wisconsin … history, but it is now a part of the history of the Wisconsin State Capitol and a piece of pride for the Badger State and of residents from every corner of Wisconsin.”
Del Toro despatched Evers a letter Tuesday saying the Navy is pleased to increase the mortgage for the subsequent 50 years.
“I prize the strong affinity that the citizens of Wisconsin have developed toward the badger statue; it reflects the state’s proud maritime heritage and deep ties to the U.S. Navy,” Del Toro wrote. “The Navy feels those ties, too, and we thank the people of Wisconsin for their ongoing interest in and support of our Navy and our nation’s maritime history.”
Marinette Marine manufactures battleships for the Navy. In 2020 the corporate received a $5.5 billion contract in 2020 to construct a guided missile frigate and was chosen to develop a prototype for a brand new unmanned ship succesful for attacking land and sea targets.
A name to the Nauticus Museum rang unanswered late Wednesday afternoon.