LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Vandals with spray paint have struck again in the Highlands.
City crews were out cleaning graffiti off of the Castleman Statue on Cherokee Parkway on Thursday morning. Someone spray-painted the word "racist" in red paint on the pedestal of the statue. On the other side of the pedestal, the word "traitor" was painted in green.
The statue was also vandalized with bright orange paint the same August 2017 weekend of the Charlottesville, Virginia, riot involving white supremacists. The vandals who painted the words "Never Again" on the statue were not caught, but some critics say the post-Civil-War-era statue is a symbol of the Confederacy.
Removal of the paint in August cost the city more than $8,000 for restoration experts to slowly etch the paint off the statue.
Mayor Greg Fischer appointed the Louisville Commission on Public Art to reassess pieces of art publicly displayed around town and make a list of the ones that he says could "honor bigotry, racism and or slavery."
But the fate of the Castleman statue has not yet been decided. John B. Castleman was a Confederate officer, but the statue does not show him wearing a Confederate uniform. He is wearing civilian clothing.
The Public Art and Monument Advisory Committee met Thursday night at the University of Louisville to hear input on what the city should do to evaluate controversial monuments.
"For me, I see the statue as a symbol of hatred of something that represents feelings that we don't want in our society anymore," U of L student Avalon Gupta Verwiebe said.
Louisville resident James Prichard believes the statue should stay in place and said it's not fair to compare the Castleman statute to other Confederate statues that have already been removed.
"Vandalizing the statues or even removing the statue doesn't really accomplish anything concrete for racial justice," Prichard said.
Castleman was not only a Confederate officer who later served in the U.S. Army, but he was also a businessman, founder of the American Saddlebred Horse Association and a pioneer for Louisville's original Olmsted Parks.
The committee will recommend ways to evaluate these monuments to Fischer who will make the decision. The meeting dates are listed below:
- April 14, 10:30 a.m. at the Cyril Allgeier Community Center
- May 18, 12 p.m. at the South Central Regional Library
- June 5, 6 p.m. at the Main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library
- Paint being removed from Castleman statue as city asks for input about its fate
- Dozens rally for and against future of Confederate soldier statue in the Highlands
- U of L archivist says subject of Confederate statue was also father of Louisville's public park system
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