A controversial statue in Louisville honoring Confederate soldiers will be taken down.
"The stain of slavery and racism that this monument represents for many, many people has no place in a compassionate, forward leaning city," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a news release.
The statue has been on the grounds of the University of Louisville since 1895, when it was dedicated by the Kentucky Women’s Confederate Monument Association as "A Tribute to the Rank and File of the Armies of the South" and "To Our Confederate Dead."
The statue "does not symbolize the values of our campus community or that of a 21st century institution of higher education," University of Louisville President James Ramsey said in a news release.
"The confederacy represented that all men were not created equal, and that it was ok for some people to own and trade other people," Ramsay said at the event, according to WHAS.
Fischer and Ramsey spoke in front of the statue on Friday, with construction equipment in place nearby ready to begin the removal, but no official timeline has been set.
Not everyone is happy with the move.
Everett Corley, a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives, plans to go to court to block the removal.
"It is a political version of book burning," Corley, a real estate agent, told the Courier-Journal. "And the fact is, I'm not in favor of book burning."
But the mayor said the removal isn't about erasing history.
"I recognize that some people say this monument should stay because it is part of our history," Fischer said in a statement. "But I also appreciate that we can make our own history."
Kentucky, a key border state during the Civil War, was not part of the Confederacy. Officially neutral when war first broke out, Kentucky eventually sided with the Union.
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