Motion passes to keep Jefferson Davis statue at state Capitol - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Motion passes to keep Jefferson Davis statue at state Capitol

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Confederate President Jefferson Davis has gotten an reprieve -- or at least his statue has.

The statue will remain in a prominent place in the state capitol after a vote Wednesday, at least for now.

At the historic Berry Hill Mansion in Frankfort, a state commission made an historic decision, to keep Jefferson Davis right where he is, but with conditions.

Following a more than two-hour debate, the Historic Properties Review Commission voted 7-2 to retain the Jefferson Davis statue in the Capitol Rotunda. But the commission also decided to add an educational component to help visitors understand Davis and Kentucky's role in the Civil War.

"We do believe that the history is important, but that we also believe that we need to explain the context of the Civil War, with respect to that statue being in the Rotunda," said Steve Collins, commission chair.

The statue has been in place since 1936, but there has been a push to remove Davis and other confederate symbols since the racially motivated murder of nine people at an historic African American church in South Carolina. 

"They didn't do anything," said NAACP President Raoul Cunningham.

Cunningham says his group must now decide whether to take the fight to the General Assembly.

"You don't need the statues being next to one another, or even being near one another, to have that discussion that you need to have, and should have been having all along," Cunningham said.

But for some capitol visitors, the commission's decision was the right one.

"There's things that maybe, perhaps, shouldn't have been the way they were, but it's part of our history and I don't think we need to remove that," said William Palmer, a visitor to the capitol.

Davis' fate may not be permanently sealed. The General Assembly, the next governor, or even the courts could potentially overturn the commission's decision.

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