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Jefferson Davis statue will stay in Kentucky’s capitol rotunda after commission decides against relocation

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A statue of Jefferson Davis, the Kentuckian who became president of the Confederacy during the Civil War, will remain in the state capitol’s rotunda.

That was the decision of the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission, which has control of the statues. Gov. Steve Beshear had asked the panel to reconsider the statue’s location after the South Carolina church shooting in June that allegedly was motivated by Confederate-bred racism. Several Kentucky politicians had called for its relocation (see NKyTribune story).

Following the decision, Gov. Steve Beshear released the following statement:

“The Historic Properties Advisory Commission by law has control over the statues in the Rotunda of the State Capitol, and recently I asked the commission to review the appropriateness of the Jefferson Davis statue remaining in the Rotunda.

The commission received thousands of public comments and consulted with state historians. After reviewing all the information, the consensus it reached is that the Jefferson Davis statue represented a part of the state’s history and will remain in the capitol. However, the panel voted to establish a committee that would determine ways to ensure the statues, including Jefferson Davis, are displayed in the appropriate historical context.

While many Kentuckians feel that it would be preferable for the Jefferson Davis statue to be in a museum setting, the addition of this educational and historical context is critical. The generations to come must understand the enormous toll of the Civil War that tore apart this nation and the tragic issue of slavery at the root of that war.

Kentucky played a unique historical role as the birthplace of the presidents of both sides of the conflict. We must ensure that dark chapter of our nation’s past serves to educate in ways that ensure such a tragedy can never happen again.”

The Historic Properties Advisory Commission, which is appointed by the governor, includes:

Steven L. Collins, chairman
David Buchta
Jane K. Beshear
Ann Evans Governor’s Mansion Director (Ex-Officio)
Kent Whitworth
Craig Potts Kentucky Heritage Council (Ex-Officio)
Clyde Carpenter
Nash Cox
Marion Forcht
Sally Meigs
Darren J. Taylor
Gigi Lacer
Lee Waterfield
Estill Curtis Pennington

You might also be interested in reading Bill Straub: Assuming Davis statue gets the heave-ho, let’s honor Georgia Davis Powers on KyForward.

From various sources

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