Plans for examining pieces of public art to determine if they could be interpreted as “honoring bigotry, racism and/or slavery” are moving forward.

The process will take several weeks and is set to begin on September 6 with a meeting of the city’s Commission on Public Art.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called for the review after a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. There, white nationalists held a rally to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee.

Locally, activists are calling for the removal of a similar statue in the affluent Cherokee Triangle neighborhood. That statue is of Confederate officer John B. Castleman.

“We need to discuss and interpret our history from multiple perspectives and from different viewpoints to broaden our community’s collective conscience and depth of understanding of our history and our varying viewpoints,” Fischer said in a news release.

The meeting of the Commission on Public Art will begin at 4 p.m. at the Old Jail Building in downtown Louisville. Public comment will be accepted during “a portion of the meeting,” according to a city news release.

An online portal is available for residents wishing to submit comments related to the public art review.

There is also a searchable database of all public art in the city.

Following the September meeting, a series of public engagement sessions will be scheduled to “gather further input,” according to the release. Decisions about the future of public art pieces will be made thereafter.


Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.