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News Posted on August 29, 2008

As School of Law Expansion Begins, Dr. King Statue Moved to New Location

One of UC Davis School of Law's most coveted and honored possessions has found a new temporary home. The statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that has most prominently graced the lobby of the Law School building since 1987, has been moved to the Mabie Law Library reading room while King Hall is under construction.

Great care was taken to ensure the safe relocation of the King statue to the Law School library. Senior Assistant Dean for Administration Adam Talley first consulted the sculptor, Lisa Reinertson, and then Renny L. Pritikin, director of the Richard L. Nelson Gallery & Fine Art Collection at UC Davis, to determine how and where to move the statue. Ship Art International, a San Francisco-based fine art handling company, was hired to relocate the statue to its current place of residence.

The statue of Dr. King has tremendous cultural and historical significance to the UC Davis Law School. In April of 1969, the School of Law building was formally dedicated to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an international leader in the pursuit of civil rights, equality, and education. Dr. King represented many of the values UC Davis School of Law aims to instill in its students.

On the statue, etched into Dr. King's robe, are notations of significant moments in the struggle for equality and inclusion in the U.S., from the image of a slave toiling in the field, hoe in hand, to that of Dr. King giving his legendary "I Have a Dream" speech during a march on Washington, D.C, almost exactly 45 years ago. As UC Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson observed, "the statue of Dr. King is a welcome reminder to the community of the deep and enduring values for which this Law School proudly stands: a commitment to public service, a desire to promote the development of fair and even-handed public policy, and the unwavering dedication to the pursuit of liberty and justice for all. We must temporarily relocate the statue of Dr. King during the construction project to ensure its safety and presence for future generations of UC Davis law students in the lobby of the new-and-improved King Hall."

Statue relocation footage

Construction updates