Friday vote scheduled for removal of ‘divisive’ statue from Kentucky Capitol building

Gov. Beshear updates COVID-19 in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - Gov. Andy Beshear says he has asked the State Historic Properties Advisory Committee to meet Friday to vote on removal of the statue of Confederacy president Jefferson Davis from Kentucky’s Capitol rotunda.

Beshear said his administration has contacted each member of the committee and expects a bipartisan vote in favor of the statue’s removal.

The governor rejected the impression that he had strong-armed committee members to vote according to his wishes but said he had displayed leadership in making his preference known to them.

Beshear called the effort “important" and “long past due" in his media briefing Thursday.

He said the statue is a symbol to some who enter the Capitol building that they don’t matter, a symbol “of the enslavement of their ancestors" and a symbol “of the continued systemic racism that we see in so many parts of our society.”

Beshear continued: “We ought to want to be a welcoming place for every Kentuckian, where every Kentuckian can come in and feel like their government is listening to them and not have to stare at a symbol that suggests that they are lesser, because no one is lesser, we are all Kentuckians.”

The Jefferson Davis statue in the Rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol. (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)
The Jefferson Davis statue in the Rotunda of the Kentucky State Capitol. (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)

The Jefferson Davis statue will be removed quickly following the committee’s vote, Beshear said, though he added there is no specific timeline.

It will not be destroyed but will be moved to somewhere else in the state.

As for what will happen with the vacated space, Beshear says it could remain vacant, it could host another statue of Kentuckians’ choosing or to could host a rotation of statues.

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