Native Warrior Would Tower Over Statue of Liberty; Tall Order for a Small Town
By Miguel Bustillo
"Of course it was tremendously expensive—they never did get anywhere in Oklahoma City," says J. Blake Wade, the head of a state authority building an unrelated but also high-price project, the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. The ambitious museum, expected to cost $170 million, is under way with state and private financing but remains unfinished as backers seek $40 million from the state to help complete it.
Naysayers second-guess an economic consultant's projection that 1.5 million people per year would visit "The American"—or nearly 40% of Oklahoma's entire population.
Others are simply puzzled. "What is the point of it, are you trying to attract people to a casino?" says Geoffrey Standing Bear, a legislator in the Osage Nation, which ultimately decided not to contribute $2.5 million to the project. "I thought it was a waste of our money."
For more on the subject, see One Small Step for American Statue and Is The American Still Feasible?