Sen. Rapert: Ten Commandments Replica Monument Complete, Ready For Installation
LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway, said Tuesday (Oct. 24) that work on a new Ten Commandments monument is complete after the original memorial was smashed and destroyed only 24 hours after it was installed on State Capitol grounds earlier this summer.
All that must take place now is for the Secretary of State’s office to move forward with approving the re-installation of the new monument so that another dedication ceremony can be held for the controversial religious memorial to the 10 tablets of stone ascribed by God that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai, Rapert said.
“Actually, the replacement monument is already finished, and we are just now at a point where they are finalizing if the pedestal needs any further repairs or in how to replace some security post barriers that prevent somebody, obviously now that it has happened, we don’t want to create a situation where that happens again,” Rapert told Arkansas Talk Business & Politics.
Chris Powell, spokesman for the Secretary of State Mark Martin, said the new monument has not yet been re-installed. He said any new addition to the replica design must again get approval from the State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to be installed.
On May 11, the Capitol Arts panel unanimously approved a proposal to place the first Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds in between the Arkansas Supreme Court and offices of the State Department of Education.
The 6,000-pound monument is 44 inches wide and 78 inches tall, and is a replica of one erected in Texas, Oklahoma and other states.
“We are still waiting on the monument company at this time, so no timetable has been set just yet,” Powell said.
In late June, Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren ran over the newly erected Ten Commandments monument and was later arrested by Little Rock police and charged with defacing an object of public interest, criminal trespass and mischief.
Reed had also posted a live Facebook video of the incident a day after the religious shrine was installed. In the video, Reed says, “Oh my goodness. Freedom!” before accelerating from zero to more than 20 miles an hour into the monument.
Pulaski County court records show that Reed has pled not guilty to all charges related to June 28 incident. He has been bound over to Pulaski County Circuit Court following a review hearing on Sept. 7, but no trial date has been set. etched is above the head of the Supreme Court justices.