The Ronald Reagan Centennial Capitol Foundation unveiled its statue of the former U.S. president and California governor in the Capitol’s basement rotunda Monday.
The event included former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Energy John Herrington and other former state and federal Reagan staff members. Speakers had high praise for Reagan’s domestic and international legacy.
“To all of you here today that work in this city ... I urge you to come from time to time and look at a truly great leader,” Herrington said.
“Ronald Reagan is alive for all of us because his ideas last. Why do his ideas last? Because they work,” Shultz said.
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Things stayed non-partisan, except for a brief mention of the dangers of “so-called progressives” by Herrington.
The foundation raised $350,000 in donations, among the biggest from former Univision Chairman Jerry Perenchio, media magnate Rupert Murdoch and former U.S. Ambassador to Britain Robert Tuttle.
The statue is a bronze likeness by sculptor Douglas Van Howd, a close friend of Reagan who served as White House artist during his administration. The foundation said the sculptor used tracings of Reagan’s shoes and “hundreds of pictures” to make the image.
Reagan will replace the young Christopher Columbus statue, which the Department of General Services says is now in storage but may soon move to the State Library at the discretion of State Librarian Greg Lucas.
The Reagan group commissioned two statues. The other will head to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley.