Mayor Fischer: City Will Move Controversial Castleman, Prentice Statues
The city of Louisville will move the controversial statues of John Breckinridge Castleman and George Prentice. Mayor Greg Fischer made the announcement in a series of tweets late Wednesday afternoon. Fischer said his decision was based on the findings of the city's Public Arts and Monuments Advisory Committee.
I am announcing that the city will be moving the Castleman & Prentice statues. My decision is based on the findings of our Public Art & Monuments Advisory Committee — Louisville must not maintain statues that serve as validating symbols for racist or bigoted ideology. 1/8— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) August 8, 2018
John Breckinridge Castleman was integral in developing Louisville’s park system — and he also served in the Confederacy. The Castleman statue has long been a fixture in Louisville's Cherokee Park.
"We cannot ignore that Castleman fought to continue the horrific and brutal slavery of men, women and children; heralded that part of his life in his autobiography; and had his coffin draped with both a U.S. and Confederate flag," Fischer tweeted.
A statue outside the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library of newspaper publisher George Prentice will also be moved. Prentice’s anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant rhetoric is credited with contributing to the “Bloody Monday” riots in 1855 — a fact which is mentioned in the plaque next to the statue.
The city is in talks with Cave Hill Cemetery about possibilities for relocation, according to a news release.
Debate about the monuments was sparked last August when the Castleman statue was vandalized with paint. This happened a day after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
This story will be updated.