Libeskind Memorial Fans Political Feud in Columbus

Libeskind Memorial Fans Political Feud in Columbus

Rendering of Libeskind’s memorial design and the mock memorial. (Courtesy Studio Daniel Libeskind; Alex Holt / Columbus Dispatch)

A frustrated Ohio State Senator announced his decision to resign Wednesday after more than two decades in office, in part because of a dispute with Gov. John Kasich over plans for a Daniel Libeskind-designed Holocaust memorial on Statehouse grounds. Richard H. Finan was so upset by such a prospect that he ordered state employees to build a slapdash mockup of the memorial out of plastic pipes and tarp painted with a blue Star of David. The 78-year-old Republican submitted his resignation effective on Oct. 30. He told the Columbus Dispatch it was partially in response to his feud with Gov. Kasich, who called for the memorial in 2011:

“I don’t think the board is performing the way it was meant to anymore. I’m frustrated but I can’t do anything about it. I think it’s time to leave.”

For her part, Nina Libeskind clarified to readers of the Dispatch:

“It is a clear attempt to show what is not real and subvert the process. This is not what we presented.”

The $2 million memorial will be privately funded, but the state will pay for site preparation.