Utah may get a … ‘Statue of Responsibility’?

'I still believe that we believe in big things,' Gov. Spencer Cox said of the proposed monument

A Utah state land authority has taken the first step toward erecting a 300-foot-tall “Statue of Responsibility” on the site of the former Utah state prison, in Draper, KUTV has reported.

The Point of the Mountain State Land Authority voted unanimously last week to move ahead with the project.

The idea apparently originated with author and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, who thought the Statue of Liberty, on the East Coast, should have a complement, a statue of responsibility, on the West Coast.

The Statue of Liberty historically has been a beacon for migrants fleeing adversity and persecution in Europe. It is not immediately what a Statue of Responsibility, in Draper, would say or to whom.

“Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness,” Frankl is quoted as saying on the website of the the Statue of Responsibility Foundation.

The foundation could not move ahead with the monument on the West Coast, however, and now has turned to Utah.

“Our mission is to positively and significantly alter society’s sense of responsibility to itself and its communities by demonstrating that liberty and responsibility are INSEPARABLE ideals,” the foundation states. “Not only is responsibility a necessary condition for a free society to prosper, it will move individuals to aspire to their highest potential.”

“Liberty + Responsibility = Freedom,” the foundation explains.


Gov. Spencer Cox addressed the land authority board before the vote.

“We used to be a nation of builders and architects, and now we’re a nation of arsonists. We tear apart, we destroy, we tear down, and there’s so little left to inspire us,” Cox said, according to KUTV.

“I believe Utah is still a state of architects, a state of builders. I still believe that we believe in big things – things that outlive us, things that are bigger than us, things that matter more than just the moment – and I wanted something that would represent that, and this is that.”

Cox added, “You have, I think, a unique opportunity – singular in the history of our great state – to do something big, to do something monumental, literally, to change the face of this place and the world forever,” the governor said. “I hope that we will take that opportunity.”

State Sen. Nate Blouin, however, described the proposed statue as “gaudy.”

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