A life-size likeness of Mark Twain now stands at a location the humorist and author may have found a way to satire, the corner of Missouri and Kansas streets in Liberty.
The statue is one in what is envisioned to be a series of “Great American” statues to be placed throughout the historic area of downtown Liberty. They will all be likenesses of American’s who have made a great contribution to the country.
Former Liberty Mayor Greg Canuteson spearheads the project. He says the identity of Mark Twain was a secret of sorts before its unveiling, becamse the “Great Americans” in the project are not pre-decided. Instead, those who offer private donations to fund the statues get the opportunity to vote on who the next statue will portray.
Voters this time around considered five potential Great Americans; Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Emily Dickenson, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Neil Armstrong.
The winner was kept a secret until the unveiling.
“We want to celebrate American exceptionalism,” Canuteson said. “The idea is to have first-class art in Liberty, Missouri. We are working with Studio EIS in New York. They are the best in the world at this.”
The statue of Mark Twain is the second of the second of the “Great Americans” to be placed on permanent installation in Liberty. The first, a statue of George Washington, stands near the corner of Lightburne and Mill streets about a block away, and site distance, from Mark Twain.
The Great Americans project is envisioned to eventually provide a walking tour through Liberty.