A team of volunteers began removing mementos lining the fence around Paisley Park on Friday, a month after they began going up in honor of the late megastar Prince.
Bremer Trust, which is handling Prince’s estate, will be responsible for preserving the paintings, photographs, signs and other tributes collected. Items that are not perishable or damaged will be saved, according to a Bremer spokesman.
Bremer consulted with local historical organizations to develop a plan to preserve mementos from the fence that surrounded Paisley Park, the Chanhassen complex where Prince lived, recorded and performed.
“Some of the items have been displayed for almost a month,” said Wendy Petersen Biorn, executive director of the Carver County Historical Society. “In order to protect these artifacts, and this element of Prince’s legacy in Minnesota, it is important to begin the preservation process now.”
Cedar Phillips, executive director at the Hennepin History Museum, said she and the museum’s curator and archivist helped remove items Friday. It can be challenging to preserve items that weren’t designed to last, she said, but even those altered by sun and rain can have value.
“There were some things where someone had written a message in marker and you couldn’t even see what it was anymore,” she said. “Even that is really evocative — it’s still a very meaningful memorial even if you don’t know what it said.”
Minnesota Historical Society spokeswoman Jessica Kohen said “much has yet to be decided” about what will become of the items. According to a news release from Bremer Trust, there are currently no plans to display the items publicly.
Bremer Trust was appointed special administrator for Prince’s estate in late April, days after his body was found in a Paisley Park elevator. The value of his estate is believed to total more than $100 million.