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City Seeks Public Input On Confederate Monument Relocation

The Louisville Metro Commission on Public Art is asking residents to propose potential relocation sites for the 70-foot tall confederate monument that currently sits near the University of Louisville campus.

Mayor Greg Fischer and U of L President James Ramsey announced earlier this year the 121-year old monument would be removed. The statue was built with funds raised by the Kentucky Women’s Confederate Monument Association in 1895. The obelisk is nearly 70 feet tall, and its foundation sinks about 5 feet into the ground at its base.

Will Ford, a spokesman for Develop Louisville, said there is no timeline for determining a relocation site.

“We want to hear from the public first and be able to react to what the public has to say," he said.

No locations are considered off-limits for the monument's relocation, he said.

When the monument's removal was announced in April, both Fischer and Ramsey said it had no place in modern Louisville.

Fischer tweeted: “The stain of slavery & racism that this monument represents for many, many people has no place in a compassionate, forward leaning city.”

Ramsey also tweeted: “It is time for U of L to step forward in partnership with the city of Louisville to remove the monument…in respect of all people.”

News of the monument's removal sparked cheers and outrage among residents.

A group headed up by the Sons of Confederate Veterans challenged the move, saying the monument was protected as a designated historical object.

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell called the group’s legal arguments “dishonest.”

“There wasn’t a single shred of evidence to support any of their allegations,” O’Connell said. “The entire thing was a sham.”

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled last month the monument could be legally moved, and now the city will consider an appropriate site. Metro government will hold a public meeting on the relocation on July 25 at 10 a.m.

Residents who can't attend the morning meeting can email comments to  publicartinfo@louisvilleky.gov or mail to 444 S. Fifth St., Suite 600, Louisville, Kentucky 40202. All comments sent before the meeting must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, July 22 to be considered.

Live streaming online is also available here.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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