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Louisville Mayor: City Will Move Controversial Castleman, Prentice Statues

J. Tyler Franklin
The John Breckinridge Castleman statue in Louisville, Ky.

The city of Louisville will move the controversial statues of John Breckinridge Castleman and George Prentice. Mayor Greg Fischer made the announcement in a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon. Fischer said his decision was based on the findings of the city’s Public Arts and Monuments Advisory Committee.

John Breckinridge Castleman was integral in developing Louisville’s park system — and he also served in the Confederacy. The Castleman statue has long been a fixture in Louisville’s Cherokee Park.

“We cannot ignore that Castleman fought to continue the horrific and brutal slavery of men, women and children; heralded that part of his life in his autobiography; and had his coffin draped with both a U.S. and Confederate flag,” Fischer tweeted.

A statue outside the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library of newspaper publisher George Prentice will also be moved. Prentice’s anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant rhetoric is credited with contributing to the “Bloody Monday” riots in 1855 — a fact which is mentioned in the plaque next to the statue.

Both statues were vandalized last February

The city is in talks with Cave Hill Cemetery about possibilities for relocation, according to a news release.

Debate about the monuments was sparked last August when the Castleman statue was vandalized with paint. This happened a day after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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