Gov. Mark Dayton played art critic Tuesday, questioning whether a stately meeting room in his office suite at the State Capitol still needs five murals depicting Civil War battle scenes.

Dayton mused about the murals Tuesday at a meeting of the Capitol Preservation Commission, which is overseeing a multimillion-dollar renovation now underway at the domed Capitol in downtown St. Paul.

He said he doesn’t doubt that the murals in the Governor’s Reception Room are historically significant but questioned whether they still properly represent a broad spectrum of life in Minnesota.

Dayton also said he’s not sure that the Capitol still needs framed portraits of every Minnesota governor since statehood.

Officials with the Minnesota Historical Society say they hope for a public discussion about what type of art to display in the remade Capitol.

Hip trouble

Dayton also told reporters that he is returning to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester because of continued problems with one of his hips.

He said that pain isn’t a problem but that he suffers some instability. He tumbled at the Preservation Commission meeting, but a spokesman said it was after the governor caught his foot on a chair leg.

Dayton said he’ll be back at Mayo on Wednesday to visit with a specialist. The governor, who turns 67 on Sunday, had a procedure last summer to mend a torn muscle in his hip and also had spinal surgery there the previous winter.

He said the health issues will not affect his plans to run for re-election this year.

Associated Press