The University of Louisville will remove a monument to Confederate heroes, the school announced on Friday.
“I recognize that some people say this monument should stay here because it is part of history, but I also appreciate that we can make our own history,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said on Friday, according to the Courier-Journal.
The decision came two weeks after Pan-African Studies professor Ricky L. Jones wrote an op-ed in the Louisville Courier-Journal calling the statue and other Confederate memorials “representations of hate, emptied-out ideas of racial superiority, inhumanity and devilishness.”
According to the Courier-Journal, the monument dates back to 1895 and honors the “rank and file of the armies of the South” and “our Confederate dead.” In 2002, after student protests, the University of Louisville unanimously approved a plan to convert the area around the statue to Freedom Park as a tribute to Civil Rights Leaders. That same year, the university changed the name of Confederate Hall to be Unity Hall, according to the Courier-Journal.
The statue will be put in storage for the time being and will be put disassembled, cleaned and repaired. It will be moved to as an undetermined location. The memorial will be replaced by an extra traffic lane to improve access to Speed Art Museum.
The reaction in Louisville was mixed. An informal Twitter poll by WHAS had 58 percent of respondents saying they disagreed with the decision.