Removal of Jefferson Davis plaque from statue delayed pending legal review

11/29/2017 03:04 PM

FRANKFORT – A subcommittee of the Historic Properties Advisory Commission delayed action Wednesday on removing the plaque below Jefferson Davis’ statue in the Capitol rotunda until the attorneys in the Finance and Administration Cabinet review the panel’s authority in such matters.

The commission voted unanimously to remove the plaque, which describes the only president of the Confederacy as a patriot, hero and statesman, during a meeting last month, but State Curator Leslie Nigels said she had been in contact with officials at the Department for Facilities and Support Services, who advised her to consult with attorneys before following through with the removal.

“We’ve turned it over to the legal department that’s part of the Finance and Administration Cabinet, and they are looking into this just to make sure that we have no impediments, legal impediments,” Nigels said during Wednesday’s meeting of the Rotunda Committee. “The lawyers, the point person for us has said that she would be willing to come to our next meeting and make a report.”

Confederate monuments like the Jefferson Davis statue in Kentucky’s Capitol have sparked fierce debate as other entities take action to remove Confederate symbols from public property in light of recent violent acts, most notably a racially charged church shooting in South Carolina that claimed nine lives in 2015.

Earlier this year, a man protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va., plowed into a crowd of counterprotests, killing one and injuring 19 others.

The Kentucky commission decided against removing the Jefferson Davis statue from the rotunda in 2015 and last month, instead opting to take the plaque.

Nigels told reporters that the panel is ready to remove the plaque once it gets legal clearance.


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