Minne 2015 Spine crack

Minne Update: Safe and sound, in need of repair

July 24, 2015 by Janette Law

_[ (Minne the Lake Creature) is doing well.

Like you, we were deeply concerned about the condition of the sculpture after learning about how she was being treated during her short stay in Lake Calhoun. (Read the press release.)

We removed Minne from the situation as soon as we could. We know that Minne‘s departure seemed abrupt and are sad that opportunities to visit her were lost. So many of you told us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog that you will miss her. We wish everyone who wanted to engage with Minne this summer had that chance, but she is now in a safe place where she will be well cared for in preparation for her 2016 return.

After taking a look at Minne yesterday, we are relieved to report that the underlying structure of the nearly 10-year-old sculpture appears as tall and proud as ever. Minne does have considerable surface damage, however – most notably a significant break in the fiberglass “skin” along the spine, as well as multiple cracks and chips.

Artist Cameron Gainer’s craftsmanship is remarkable to have withstood aggressive treatment. Cameron constructed Minne out of airplane grade fiberglass over high-density non-porous foam and finished her with specialized marine paint. For all Minne’s whimsy, she’s truly a high-tech work of art.

Our next step is to conduct a full inspection with a conservator, in consultation with Cameron. At this point, we can’t say how long it will take to repair Minne or what it will cost, but we do know that it will be a significant investment of both time and money.

Our goal remains to have Minne back on the water and in your hearts next summer. We could use your help. Please consider making a donation to Minne’s fund here at the Minneapolis Parks Foundation. A gift of even $10 will go a long way to ensuring that she’ll return safe and sound and soon! Thank you!!

6 Responses to Minne Update: Safe and sound, in need of repair

  1. Pat says:

    I don’t get it. We were just visiting last Saturday and all was seemingly well. Couldn’t this repair have waited until end of season?

    • Janette Law says:

      Hi, Pat –

      I’m glad you got a chance to see Minne this year. I agree that the break appears relatively mild, but it is severe considering her structure and what it will take to repair. More importantly, we aren’t in a position to monitor the sculpture at all times, and therefore couldn’t ensure that its condition wouldn’t worsen over the summer due to on-going aggressive treatment. Thank you for your interest in Minne – and I hope that you’ll visit her again in 2016!

      All the best,


  2. L LEVINE says:

    Really sorry to hear about Minnie. She deserves better than to end up in the Plesiosaur hospital for the rest of the summer. It would have been a better idea for her not to reside in Lake Calhoun, as beautiful as it is. Minnie, like her mentor, Nessie, does better in a more remote, secluded area, free of tourists or boat vandals. Brownie Lake, Lake Hiawatha, Cedar Lake, or even the west arm of Lake Nokomis, are venues far enough away from public where one experience the wonder of coming upon her as though she emerges from a hidden lagoon. Get well soon Minnie!

    • Janette Law says:

      Thank you for taking the time to reach out! We agree – Minnie’s particularly lovely in a more secluded (and, as it happens, more protected) setting. She’ll be put right soon and we’re looking forward getting back in one of her favorite lakes in 2016.



  3. DR Madden says:

    Would love to see Minne re-visit life in Lake Park at Powderhorn Park! A safe bet and with due respect and kindness from onlookers…

    • Janette Law says:

      Minne does seem especially at home in Powderhorn. Can’t say yet where she’ll be, but we’re looking forward to sharing a Minne update in the coming weeks.

      All the best,


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