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Confederate Monument Will Be Moved To Brandenburg

Louisville's Confederate monument is heading to Brandenburg.

The Meade County seat is about 40 miles east of Louisville and home to a historical Civil War site.

The decision to send the more than century-old monument to the neighboring city was made by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. He announced in April the 70-foot-tall obelisk -- which has been situated near the U of L campus -- no longer had a place in Louisville.

“The stain of slavery and racism that this monument represents for many, many people has no place in a compassionate, forward leaning city," he said via Twitter.

The monument came to Louisville as a gift from the Kentucky Woman’s Monument Association to commemorate the Kentuckians who fought and died for the Confederacy during the Civil War. It’s stood for 121 years.

When first erected, it stood beyond the reaches of the U of L campus. But as time passed, the growing campus came to encircle the monument. Debate raged for years about who owned the ground on which the monument stood.

And the decision to remove the monument sparked another debate. While many cheered the exit of the controversial monument, 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 several months ago. “The entire thing was a sham.”

Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman ruled earlier this year the monument could be legally moved.

Brandenburg city officials made their plea for the monument during a public hearing earlier this year. Gerry Lynn, the Meade County Judge Executive, said such a monument would be a boon for the small city’s tourism industry. He also noted the area’s historical ties to the Civil War.

“It’s a very fitting place,” he said.

Crews will begin disassembling the monument next week. The cost of the relocation will be paid for by the University of Louisville Foundation.

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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