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Niagara Falls to seek proposals from sculptors for Tubman statue
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Niagara Falls to seek proposals from sculptors for Tubman statue

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LOCAL Harriet Tubman School CANTILLON

A cutout of Harriet Tubman in the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. 

The City of Niagara Falls will issue a request for proposals from sculptors interested in creating a statue of Harriet Tubman, who before the Civil War led groups of escaped slaves to freedom in Canada, including over the old Suspension Bridge in the Falls.

The City Council unanimously approved funding for the work Wednesday night, allocating $67,242 in Niagara River Greenway money to cover the local match for a $201,725 state grant.

Mayor Robert M. Restaino said Thursday the proposal document should be finalized within a couple of weeks.

The statue will be erected in Harriet Tubman Plaza, outside the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center. That museum, which opened in 2018, shares the city's former Custom House with the Niagara Falls Amtrak station.

With a change of administrations, it looks like Harriet Tubman is once again headed to the front of the $20 bill. Biden press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put the 19th century abolitionist leader on the $20 bill.

The state first allocated the grant money in December 2015, but legal and bureaucratic issues kept the project from going forward until now. The grant expired after five years, but Restaino persuaded State Parks to extend it for a year.

The Buffalo News: Good Morning, Buffalo

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When it opens May 4, the Underground Railroad Heritage Center in Niagara Falls will become one of the nation’s historical sites to commemorate the journey of freedom seekers to Canada. But it will be the only one by the international border where people escaping slavery had to cross to be sure they wouldn’t be captured and sent back. “We

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