Paint being removed from Castleman statue as city asks for input - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Paint being removed from Castleman statue as city asks for input about its fate

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Crews began cleaning paint off the vandalized Castleman statue at Cherokee Circle on Monday morning. 

The time-consuming process of removing the paint is costing the city over $8,000, but the fate of the statue is still to be decided. 

The statue was vandalized with bright orange paint the same August weekend of the Charlottesville, Virginia riot involving white supremacists. The vandals haven't been caught, but some critics say the post Civil War era statue is a symbol of the Confederacy. 

The paint is being etched off piece by piece by a team of restoration experts. The city says it will take at least a week of this pain-staking work before the job is complete. 

"The paint removal could easily damage the surface of the bronze, so we're just using very simple tools to as efficiently as we can remove the paint," Falls Art Foundry Co-owner Scott Boyer said. 

Boyer's company has been contracted by the city to complete the work. He says his team of five people will be working 10 hour days to restore the statue.

He says the company has experience working on monuments of this size, but notes the damage is some of the worst he's come across. 

"Honestly I haven't seen that much vandalism, this is by far the worst I've seen," Boyer said. 

As for the future of the statue, several groups have rallied to garner support to bring it down. The city will hold a meeting on September 6 from from 4-7 p.m. at the Old Jail Auditorium on Liberty Street. A city commission will hear public comment about several pieces of public art across Louisville. 

"The city is opening a conversation about it" Sarah Lindgren with Louisville Metro Public Art said.

The Castleman monument isn't the only statue under review. The city has hundreds of pieces of art in Louisville's public spaces or buildings to consider.

"Any pieces that could be perceived as honoring slavery, racism or bigotry," Lindgren said. 

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