The John B. Castleman statue in Cherokee Triangle and the George D. Prentice statue behind the downtown library will be moved, Mayor Greg Fischer said today, because “Louisville must not maintain statues that serve as validating symbols for racist or bigoted ideology.”
Delivering his decision in a tweet, Fischer did not provide details about the new location or locations for the statues, but the Courier-Journal reported the Mayor’s Office said Cave Hill Cemetery could be a destination.
In a series of eight tweets, Fischer explained his reasoning, saying he based his decision on the findings of the Public Art and Advisory Committee. Here are excerpts from those tweets.
“… My threshold question was whether the Castleman statue would be appropriate in a predominately African American neighborhood. The answer obviously is NO. It would be viewed as disrespectful of a historic and painful past.”
And while Prentice was founder & editor of the Louisville Journal, he used that platform to advocate an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant message that led to the 1865 Bloody Monday riot where 22 people were killed.”
Moving the Castleman & Prentice statues does not erase history. It allows us to examine our history in a new context that more accurately reflects the reality of the day, a time when the moral deprivation of slavery is clear.”
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
Here are stories LEO has published on Castleman and Confederate statues in Kentucky.
Also, read LEO’s story on the Bloody Monday riots of 1855, which some say was provoked by the writing of journalist and editor Prentice, and here is a LEO article on how our community is coming to terms with public places with racist pasts.