Bring Back the University of Utah's Brigham Young Statue

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The case for the “Empty Pedestal” is a hoax carried out by students in the History of Hoaxes class at the University of Utah, Fall semester 2019. The course is an analysis of the many hoaxes perpetrated throughout history, an educational study of hoaxes in general, and an attempt to understand how mis- and disinformation can impact our society at the local, national, and global levels. Our group’s hoax centered on the complete fabrication of a missing statue of Brigham Young that was supposed to be placed on the empty pedestal in the left alcove of the John R. Park Building in President’s Circle at the University of Utah. The purpose of this hoax was to put into practice the things we learned about how hoaxes work and how misinformation spreads, as well as illustrate how important it is to scrutinize the vast amounts of information we encounter on a daily basis.

The information we created to propagate our hoax was this Medium article, the drawing of a statue in the likeness of Brigham Young and the forgery of his signature added onto a copy of one of Mahonri Young’s sketches for the This Is The Place Monument, and the petition. We also created various fake Twitter accounts to spread the hoax on social media. Our group took every precaution to ensure we did not make money or profit from this fabrication. If our hoax grabbed your interest, an authentic publication on its history please can be found The Daily Utah Chronicle website. If our hoax fooled anyone we hope they come away having learned that you really can’t believe everything you see on the internet, at least not without having done some research first.

The statue of Brigham Young at BYU was originally intended for the U! It was supposed to stand on the empty pedestal outside the Park Building on President’s Circle at the University of Utah, according to the findings of a graduate student at the university. Check out the article

As Brigham Young was the founder of the University of Utah, he is the only person who should be standing next to Mr. Park himself. Brigham Young University is only a name sake of Brigham Young and he is not the founder. To respect the wishes of the artist of the statue, the Brigham Young statue at BYU should be moved and rightfully placed at the University of Utah. Please join us by signing this petition to tell BYU to give the statue to the U of U.