For Immediate Release — Thursday, June 9, 2005
SUNY Geneseo to Unveil its New Minerva Statue Friday
GENESEO, N.Y. — A replica of the Roman goddess missing from the State University of New York at Geneseo's library will be unveiled Friday afternoon for the first time in public.
The media is invited to attend the unveiling, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. at Milne Library on the campus.
The statue has been draped since her May 23 "return" to campus. The Minerva statue was last seen in 1951, when she graced the library in the Old Main building when Geneseo was a normal, or teacher training, school. It was widely speculated that Minerva — who would have turned 99 this year — was razed, along with Old Main, and was perhaps even used as rubble to fill a parking lot.
This winter, Milne Library officials launched a campaign to find the statue, even going as far as plastering wanted posters — some asking, "Have you seen this goddess?" — around campus and in the village in the hope that faculty and staff, nearby residents or alumni would have some clue as to where Minerva might have been hiding.
After reaching dead ends, library officials concluded that Minerva's widely reported demise was by all accounts more than just a rumor. So, they commissioned a Massachusetts gallery to create a replica of the goddess of wisdom and patron of warriors.
The old statue weighed 350 pounds and stood 6'2". The new statue is 8'3" and weighs approximately 100 pounds.
The Class of 2005 donated the cost to bring Minerva home through its senior challenge fund-raising program. A plaque will be placed on the base of the statue in honor of the class of 2005's generosity.