Last week, Congress unveiled the newest addition to the National Statuary Hall Collection: Thomas Edison of Ohio. From the lightbulb to the motion picture—Edison's contributions to American society, and the world, are well-known. But what you may not yet know is how a statue comes to find its home in the U.S. Capitol. Here are a few facts to shed some light on that process:
- There are 100 statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Each state may contribute two statues.
- All statues must be made of either marble or bronze and must represent deceased persons who have been citizens of their respective state.
- Each statue is donated by the state it represents (to include transportation costs). As such, the statues in the U.S. Capitol do not cost federal taxpayers a dime.
- In fact, states largely have sole authority to pick and replace their statues whenever they want. To do so, the state legislature must enact a resolution and the governor must submit a written request to the Architect of the Capitol.
Interested in seeing the whole statue unveiling ceremony? Click here.