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Statement on the Dedication of the Pierre L’Enfant Statue in the United States Capitol

Monday, February 28, 2022

(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton at the dedication ceremony of DC’s second statue in the US Capitol. The bronze statue of Pierre L’Enfant, who designed the original plans for Washington, DC, has been at the Marion S. Barry Jr. Building since 2008. On February 27, 2020, 219 years after the passage of the Organic Act of 1801, Speaker Pelosi announced that Congress had accepted the gift of the L’Enfant statue from the District. In 2013, Congress accepted the District’s first statue, a bronze statue of Frederick Douglass. Washington, DC now joins all 50 states in having two statues in the Capitol. In celebration of today’s ceremony, Mayor Bowser released the following statement:

“We were proud, in 2013, to transfer the statue of Frederick Douglass to Emancipation Hall. Today, we are similarly proud to gift this statue of Pierre L’Enfant and, in doing so, tell a more complete story of Washington, DC in the halls of our Capitol. The statue of Pierre L’Enfant tells the story of our earliest days and of one man’s vision for a capital city that would represent our nation’s founding principle that all men are created equal. The statue of Frederick Douglass tells another part of that story — the story of a nation that was struggling to live up to those founding ideals, but because of brilliant and courageous Americans like Douglass, was still becoming a better, more inclusive democracy.

“We thank Speaker Pelosi and Congresswoman Norton for making this happen. The symbolism of having two statues is important. When Americans from across the nation visit the People’s House, they will be reminded that in addition to being our nation’s capital, Washington, DC is also the home of 700,000 Americans who pay federal taxes, serve in our military, and celebrate our own local history and culture. And they will be reminded that despite being represented in the Capitol with two statues, we still lack any voting representation in the House or Senate. But the story of Washington, DC is still being written, and we will continue fighting for the representation we deserve — two statues and two senators.”


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