They city of Louisville owns about 400 pieces of public art. One of the most well-known — and most controversial — is the John Breckinridge Castleman statue in the Cherokee Triangle. Castleman was integral in developing Louisville’s park system — and he also served in the Confederacy.
Following a violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in a public park, cities around the country began removing and relocating their own Confederate statues, including in nearby Lexington. Just five days after Charlottesville, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council voted unanimously to move two Confederate statues from prominent places in the downtown area.
But in Louisville, the process to address monuments linked to the Confederacy has been much slower.
Mayor Greg Fischer formed a committee to create principles and criteria for evaluating all of Louisville’s public art, including the Castleman statue. Since then, the Castleman statue has been vandalized three times.
After almost a year, the committee released its official recommendations on principles and criteria for evaluating Louisville’s public art.
Reporter Ashlie Stevens has been covering this story for WFPL. Today on Recut, we’ll talk about the long debate over Castleman and why Louisville hasn’t been as decisive as other cities when it comes to this issue.