Crews begin dismantling Confederate monument at U of L, despite federal lawsuit
The statue was built in 1895 as a memorial to Kentucky soldiers who died fighting for the Confederacy
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- On Saturday morning, crews began dismantling a Confederate monument that has been in Louisville for 121 years.
The work began despite a federal lawsuit filed Friday that tried to stop the movement of the monument. Workers took off the three soldier statues (two at the base and one on top) and the decorative piece under the top soldier.
Local historian Brennan Callan asked a judge for an emergency order to stop the work. In part, he argued "real estate" deeds show the state should own the property, not Metro Government.
Callan says city officials do not have the authority to move it. "What you might not realize was they didn't argue over the deeds. I'm the only one who's been presenting the deeds. And the deeds are all that matter," Callan said.
The statue was built in 1895 as a memorial to Kentucky soldiers who died fighting for the Confederacy. The decision regarding moving the monument originally came after months of discussion about its message and place in the community.
Chris Poynter, spokesperson for Mayor Greg Fischer, says a judge never signed an emergency order, so there was nothing stopping the monument's removal and relocation. He says the monument will be well suited in its new home.
“The most important thing for the mayor was that the monument will be in a civil war context in a park they’re developing there,” said Poynter.
Workers are expected to remove the middle part of the memorial on Sunday. They will then continue to remove pieces of the base through next week.
Fulton said it's believed there’s a time capsule inside the monument, so workers will remove it and see what’s inside.
The road around the area will be blocked off until the work is completed. Crews hope to have the work completed by next Saturday.
It will cost about $400,000 to remove the monument. The U of L Foundation will cover $350,000 of the costs. The city will pay the remaining $50,000.
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