The much-ballyhooed statue of Philo T. Farnsworth - the world-famous inventor of television, among other things - may soon find a home in Washington D.C., but a replica won't grace the Utah Capitol anytime soon.
The House Revenue and Taxation Committee voted thumbs-down on a bill that would have appropriated $50,000 to create a replica of the Farnsworth statue that is to be placed in Statuary Hall in the nation's Capitol.The federal government allows each state to erect statues of two of its most famous or noteworthy citizens in a gallery of statues. Utah has had a statue of Brigham Young on display since the 1950s.
Last year, the Legislature voted to have a statue of Farnsworth placed alongside that of Brigham Young, as long as the estimated $100,000 price tag was picked up by private donors.
Schoolchildren have been raising funds to build the statue, though the fund raising is going slowly.
Rep. Donald LeBaron, the sponsor of the bill, argued that if the Farnsworth statue is good enough for the U.S. Capitol, then a copy should be on display in the state Capitol.
"It is difficult to speak against a worthy cause, but this initiative should be left to the public," countered Rep. Janette Hales, R-Provo. Fellow lawmakers agreed, saying if the public wants a statue, then the public should raise the money.
The bill was defeated by a 3-11 vote.