A Reckoning For ‘Relics Of The Past’ And Monuments To ‘Imperfect Heroes’ Tuesday, Jun 30 2020 

Fresh from casting her vote on primary day, Shona Casey Sondergeld of Louisville was in a good mood. She had just participated in democracy and she feels like that participation is more important than ever.  

“Things are changing, and we have to keep that momentum going,” she said.

Sondergeld, who is Black, said she’s optimistic that there’s momentum because of the change she can already see in her city. 

“We don’t have to walk down the street and see some of the terrible statues,” she said. “They’re going away.” 

Conversations about such statues are not new. But lately there seems to be less talking and more doing when it comes to objects that are symbols of oppression and hatred to lots of people. Monuments are coming down across the nation, some through governmental process and others at the hands of people demonstrating against racial injustice and the police killings of Black people. 

Here in Kentucky, two statues of men with ties to the Confederacy have been removed: a statue of John B. Castleman, who served in the Confederate and Union armies, was taken down from Louisville’s Cherokee Triangle in early June; and, shortly after, crews removed a Jefferson Davis statue from the State Capitol Building after the Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted 11 to 1 to relocate it to Jefferson Davis Historic Park, in Fairview, Ky.

Who Gets Memorialized And Why

Kentucky’s Senior U.S. Senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, has, for years, spoken out against the Davis statue in the Capitol Rotunda, saying it would probably be better off in a history museum. Though media outlets report that, in 2015, he was not as vocal about the Confederate statues at the U.S. Capitol. 

“I’m not aware of what we have and don’t have,” McConnell said of the federal pieces, according to a report from The Hill

In a June 23 speech on the Senate floor, McConnell addressed the monument debate again, this time he appeared to take issue with protesters putting graffiti on, or even burning or bringing down, statues on their own. Some of these toppled monuments featured men considered to be the nation’s Founding Fathers, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. 

“This is the general and first President who built our nation, and the author of the Declaration of Independence,” McConnell said in his senate floor remarks. “Genius statesmen who helped begin this grand experiment that has brought freedom to hundreds of millions and saved the world a few times, for good measure. And yet a crazy fringe is treating their monuments like vanity statues of tin-horn tyrants. Our founding fathers are being roped to the ground like they were Saddam Hussein.”

He called protesters “far-left radicals,” and also expressed disdain for the toppling of statues of figures like missionary Saint Junipero Serra and Ulysses S. Grant. 

McConnell asked for society to have, “nuanced conversations about our complex past.”

WFPL News reached out to McConnell’s office for an interview. A spokesperson told us she couldn’t promise one, and if he “comments further on his speech,” she’d let us know. 

President Donald Trump has also come out in defense of these monuments. Following protesters’ attempts to remove a statue of President Andrew Jackson, who signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, he issued an executive order to “protect American monuments, memorials and statues.” The order bolstered an already existing law that could mean prison time for anyone who defaces monuments on federal grounds. 

The Country’s ‘Imperfect Heroes’

McConnell called the men in these monuments, such as Washington and Jefferson, “imperfect heroes,” who built a nation that, “is still the most perfect Union the world has ever seen.”

“George Washington was the first president of the new Republic, but he also owned slaves,” Dewey Clayton, a professor of political science at the University of Louisville, said. 

Clayton understands why protesters might want statues like these moved out of the public realm. 

“Being the first president, he really set the tone for this nation… actually supporting and condoning slavery,” he said. 

Pointing to McConnell’s remarks, Clayton said he thought it was interesting how McConnell attributed the building of this nation to Washington. 

“Well, one could argue that slaves built this country as well,” Clayton said. 

Clayton authored a 2015 op-ed calling for the removal of a monument to Confederate soldiers at the UofL. He felt it was “historically inaccurate,” as Kentucky never joined the Confederacy, and its presence was offensive to many on campus. He also served on Mayor Greg Fischer’s Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee, which determined guidance for examining the city’s public art and monument collection in the wake of the Castleman statue debate. 

Clayton hopes grappling with these physical “relics of the past” are indicative of much broader cultural shifts, including having “long overdue” and “uncomfortable” conversations about race and equity. 

“And so now we’re at a reckoning point and young people are starting to say, we no longer want to debate these issues,” he said. 

State Rep. Attica Scott, D-Jefferson County, said Black Americans have tried to get the country to address racism and its violent past for a long time. Having been at local protests, she thinks the statues brought down by demonstrators are a reflection of the exhaustion from decades of demands falling on deaf ears. 

“The young people who are taking that baton now are saying, there are some things we’re just going to do ourselves, and you’re going to have to come along with us: government, politics, business, etc.,” Scott said.

Many are tired of living in a country where they feel dehumanized by public monuments to the Confederacy or to these “imperfect heroes,” she said. 

“These are imperfect heroes to maintaining Whiteness in a system of Whiteness and inhumanity toward Native Indians, Black people, Latinx folks and other Indigenous people,” Scott said. 

She also pushes back against the notion that these pieces serve an educational purpose, a frequent talking point in favor of keeping them in public spaces.

“I have not seen where these have been real tools for education and definitely not an education around how do we dismantle racism, how do we make sure that we build a better society,” Scott said. 

Paul Farber, artistic director and co-founder of the Philadelphia-based public art and history research studio Monument Lab, said that adding signage or programming can bring some context to the piece, but rarely can “compete with the dominance of the symbol itself.” 

“Monuments can be platforms for critical and open-ended pedagogy, yet that’s not their primary function,” Farber said. “Traditionally, they enforce an idea that this is history. You wouldn’t look at a single photograph or the single page of a book to understand an entire historical period or figure. But that’s generally how statues are conceived in public spaces, by virtue of their weight, placement and relationships to power.”

More Than A Symbolic Gesture?

State Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Jefferson County, said he is heartened by the monuments coming down. However, he said such acts must also be more than symbolic gestures and people, like McConnell, “have the power to eliminate racial disparities in our country.”

“At the end of the day, it’s not really about the symbols,” Neal said. “It’s really about how people’s lives are affected. And everyday, he has the ability to give leadership to that.” 

Neal describes this time as a, “moral moment.”

“This is really not a Black problem,” he said in regards to racism and racist symbols. “It’s a problem as in the impact of racism in this society, but… it’s a White problem. Will people of good will, who happen to be White… will they speak up? Will they act?”

Louisville resident Shona Casey Sondergeld agrees that people in power need to do more to address racism. That’s part of what motivates her to vote every election.

Yet she’s also grateful that removing monuments means she doesn’t have to keep explaining to her two kids why people, like Confederate generals and soldiers, get propped up on pedestals, literally, in public spaces.

“If they want to know about them, they can read about them in a book,” she said.

October’s St. James Art Fair Canceled Amid Coronavirus Concerns Monday, Jun 29 2020 

Organizers have canceled the annual St. James Court Art Show, which usually happens every October in Old Louisville.

This would have been the 64th annual event; the art show routinely draws more than 250,000 visitors and involves more than 600 artists. But this year, citing the continued risk from COVID-19, Executive Director Howard Rosenberg said canceling the show was in the best interest of everyone’s health and safety.

“Our executive board and art show staff do not take this decision lightly, and although it saddens us to have to cancel this year’s St. James Court Art Show, the health and safety of our staff, artists, and visitors is our highest priority,” Rosenberg said in a press release.

Instead, the St. James Court Art Show will highlight artists on its website starting on September 1. Every artist who had a spot in this year’s show will be automatically invited to exhibit in 2021; that event is scheduled for October 1-3, 2021.

Headliners Music Hall’s Building Is For Sale, But The Business Is Not Friday, Jun 26 2020 

The building that’s home to the popular Louisville music venue Headliners Music Hall is for sale. 

Headliners co-owner Billy Hardison, who is also co-founder of Louisville promotion company Production Simple and a former marketing and special events coordinator for Louisville Public Media, said while the facility is for sale, they hope to keep the business going. He said they hope they’ll be able to lease the space from whoever buys it, if and when they can resume live concerts. 

“This is obviously not optimal,” Hardison said in an email to WFPL about the sale. “But this is part of what it’ll take to save our businesses that have been at negative revenue since mid-March.”

The venue has been shuttered for months due to the pandemic. So not only are they not earning any revenue right now, they’ve also been “going backwards” because they’ve had to refund tickets to canceled concerts and events, he explained.

According to its listing, the asking price is $995,000. 

The question of if and when is a big one for the live music industry. While arts and culture facilities are reopening in Louisville and around the country, there’s been a lot of angst expressed among music professionals about how safe it is to resume live performance with a virus still spreading throughout communities and no vaccine available yet. 

There is national guidance for live events, including one released by the nonprofit Event Safety Alliance in mid-May. Things like reduced audience capacity, cashless transactions, health screenings and ways to avoid people lining up are crowding in one area of the venue are all things that industry professionals are looking into. 

Hardison is Kentucky’s precinct captain for the recently founded National Independent Venue Association, or NIVA, a coalition of nearly 2,000 independent venues and promoters that came together during the pandemic to sound the alert for the devastating impact the pandemic could have on their industry. NIVA has been lobbying the federal government to make changes to the COVID-19 relief package so it would provide more support for the live music industry.

Inspired By Protesters’ Demands For Racial Justice, Louisville Musician Creates New Song, Music Video Thursday, Jun 25 2020 

Louisville musician Jaelan Cross, aka YGB JAY, created a song in response to the local protests against police brutality and racial injustice. The song is called “Anarchy.”

“I wrote ‘Anarchy’ on June the first,” Cross said. “I was in Vegas, watching friends live back home of what was going on, and I actually got to see the David McAtee event… live on someone’s Facebook.”

He said he returned to Louisville on June 2, “to the protests,” when they shot some footage for the video.

“I stayed up all night…to make sure I could get it out as fast as possible,” Cross said.

The musician gives “all credit” to the project to his producer, SAG LIVE, who is based in St. Louis, Missouri. 

“We were making other music, and he’s like, ‘this isn’t right, we need to be making music about what’s going on,” Cross said. “And we just stopped working on that and wrapped up the night with that song and I haven’t made any music since because it’s the only thing that’s in my heart.”

For the music video, he used footage from the protests, and contrasted sound from the current president and two late civil rights activists. 

“I was gonna do a monologue and I couldn’t come up with anything,” Cross said. “So I said, Let me find something, and I found  Malcolm [X]… him saying, to us, the president resembles a warden and to the common person in America, he’s a symbol of justice and peace.”

Cross layered the Malcolm X speech with a video from a 2016 Donald Trump rally where the then-candidate, saying of Black voters, “What do you have to lose?” The now-president goes on to say that Black communities are living in poverty and have bad schools. 

“It recirculated… amidst all the things that are going on,” Cross said of the Trump clip. 

“The actual protest [footage] came together organically,” he added. “I was down on Fourth Street Live, shooting the video, and we were leaving to go home and the march came past us and we just just hopped out and got in it. 

The video closes with a speech from Martin Luther King, Jr. that implores “America to commit to the things they agreed to on paper.” 

“He says how he may be able to understand this if we were in a totalitarian country, who hasn’t committed to these things on paper,” such as freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, Cross said. 

“It was very powerful to me,” he said.

The phrase “You Gotta Believe” appears across the screen toward the end of the video and it concludes with, “In memory of Breonna Taylor and David McAtee.”

For Cross, the experience of creating “Anarchy” and its music video has him thinking differently about his music moving forward. 

“I feel like it’s a social obligation, as much as voting, for me to continue to make music that moves, not only my culture forward, but the American culture forward because, as much knowledge as we all gained, the better we’ll be.”

Due To The Pandemic, Kentucky Opera Rethinks 2020-2021 Season Saturday, Jun 20 2020 

The Kentucky Opera will no longer present performances at the Brown Theatre during its 2020-2021 season.

In a letter on the opera’s website, general director Barbara Lynne Jamison wrote that opera staff is having to reenvision the upcoming season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In mid-March, Kentucky Opera responded to the pandemic by suspending, indefinitely, our final production of the year, the youth opera Robin Hood, and all end-of-season fundraising and school activities,” Jamison said. “Now, we have had to make the difficult decision to reimagine our 20/21 season.”

The opera had announced its new Brown-Forman season at the end of January. It was to have featured Puccini’s classic “La Bohème,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “O+E,” a fresh take on the opera “Orfeo ed Euridice,” based on the Greek myth of Orpheus. 

Jamison said the “pandemic has had a devastating impact on performing arts organizations and on the artists and artisans who rely on companies like Kentucky Opera for their livelihoods.” She said they had already committed to artist and creative team contracts and intend to uphold those contracts with “a reimagined artistic season and school programs.” 

Her letter linked to a form that allowed people to request a refund on their subscriptions, donate the cost of their subscriptions or apply the cost to a future credit. 

A spokesperson for the opera said they’re determining what the “reimagined” season will look like.

Other Louisville performing arts groups have taken their 2020-2021 seasons online, including Actors Theatre of Louisville and Louisville Ballet, presenting new virtual content for people to stream from home. 

New Chalk Art Mural Installed To Greet Guests Back Into KMAC Museum Friday, Jun 19 2020 

When Louisville’s KMAC Museum reopens Friday, you’ll be greeted by a striking new chalk art mural.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Stewart’s mural at the KMAC Museum in Louisville on June 10, 2020.

It’s the work of Louisville artist Jaylin Stewart.

She wanted it to reflect some of the new realities of American life in 2020 — how as businesses, like KMAC, reopen, there are new rules.

Her mural of “larger-than-life figures” wear face masks and “each figure is doing something different with their body or doing something different with their hands,” Stewart said, as she gestured toward the mural’s three figures with her chalk-stained hands. 

The one closest to the front doors is a young boy, giving a salute. Next to him is a woman pressing the palms of her hands together, like Namaste, and another boy waving hello. 

“This is really just showing you how to greet people without actually physically touching them,” she said. “And they are all still smiling, you can tell they’re smiling under their mask. So it’s a very warm welcome.”

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A mural in process at the KMAC Museum on June 10, 2020.

Stewart said it’s also important to note that the three figures in her work are Black. Because, as a Black artist, she thinks representation is crucial. And while she conceptualized this mural before nationwide protests against racial injustice began, she said the civil unrest we’re witnessing underscores that point. 

“So, it’s just important for me to portray positive images of African American individuals in spaces where you usually do not see them.”

The mural is temporary, on display for just a few months. 

But Stewart likes the temporary nature of chalk art. She said it leaves room for new beginnings.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Louisville artist Jaylin Stewart at KMAC Museum on June 10, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A new mural at the KMAC Museum.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Stewart’s containers of chalk as she works on a new mural at KMAC.

For Louisville’s Juneteenth Festivities, Artists Create A Virtual Celebration Thursday, Jun 18 2020 

Juneteenth is Friday, and Louisville will mark the annual holiday, also known as Freedom Day, with a number of events around the city, as well as a seven-episode locally produced online video series. 

The latter, the second annual Juneteenth Jubilee, is online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The video project uses drama, dance, poetry and music to go deeper into what the holiday is about, both the history and the impacts of slavery that can still be felt today. 

Jecorey Arthur, a Louisville musician and candidate for Metro Council, directed it. 

“This year, we wanted to dive deeper into what Juneteenth meant,” Arthur, who is also a former employee of Louisville Public Media, said. “And not only the celebration of the day itself, but what was happening before Juneteenth, what happened during Juneteenth and what happened after Juneteenth… a deep dive into the history of slavery and the abolishment of it and how there’s really a throughline of Neo-slavery that still exists today that we are still impacted by.”

Juneteenth commemorates the day Union troops reached Texas and a general read federal orders, informing the state that it had to free all enslaved people. That was on June 19, 1865, almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. 

Art can educate and inspire change, Arthur says.

“In some cases, people won’t listen to what you’re trying to tell them, unless you put it out in an engaging way through art,” he said. 

He points to art, such as spirituals, the music, created and sung by enslaved Black people.

“So, the art is so significant to us because, when our ancestors would hum those tunes, they reflected the sorrow but also gave us hope for tomorrow,” he said. “It’s a teaching tool, a healing tool and a therapeutic tool to get us through these moments.”

The virtual Juneteenth Jubilee, produced in partnership with Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Waterfront Park, features performances by Arthur, AMPED, Chanson Calhoun, Chase Dean, Dave Clark Trio, Hannah L. Drake, Jamesse, Jason Clayborn and the Atmosphere Changers, Jason Clayborn, JD Green, Maestro J, Pat Mathison, Sheryl Rouse, The La’Nita Rocknettes School of Dance, and The Untouchables.

“Although we would rather be celebrating in person with the community, we recognize the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on African Americans,” Deborah Bilitski, president and executive director of Waterfront Park, said in a release. “We’re happy to offer a virtual, educational and celebratory experience that we hope will help to expand the community’s understanding of the significance of Juneteenth.”

“The importance and necessity of recognizing Juneteenth as a seminal North American holiday that celebrates the extraordinary contributions of black cultural, political, and social action, now more than ever, seems intuitively legible, and we are grateful to reflect that in our theater making with these compelling stories,” Actors Theatre’s executive artistic director, Robert Barry Fleming, said in a release.

The series will be streamed on the Waterfront’s website June 19 -July 31, 2020, as well as broadcast weekly on Wave Country with Dawne Gee at noon on Fridays.

You can find a list of Juneteenth events and celebrations at Juneteenth502.com

Speed Art Museum Will Reopen July 5 With Andy Warhol Show Monday, Jun 15 2020 

The Speed Art Museum will reopen to the public July 5 with a blockbuster exhibition featuring the work of pop artist Andy Warhol.

On Monday, the museum announced it will operate with reduced hours and use timed ticketing to limit guest capacity in this initial phase, reopening just the North Building on Fridays with a maximum of 125 visitors, and the whole building Saturdays and Sundays with no more than 625 visitors at a time. 

Museum director Stephen Reily said this capacity is below what the state allows, but they wanted to give people plenty of room to spread out. 

“We’re looking at a level that gives an enormous amount of space around visitors and a metric allowing at least 10 square feet per visitor even within galleries,” he told WFPL

Guests will be required to wear face coverings and follow social distancing guidelines. There will be frequent cleanings in high-touch areas throughout the day. Museum officials said staff will also wear masks and do health screenings before entering the building. The cafe will stay closed, as well as the Art Sparks interactive gallery for kids and the Speed Cinema. 

Reily said  the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which loaned more than 150 pieces that will be displayed in the Speed’s exhibition, “has been a phenomenally flexible partner during this unprecedented time.” 

Museum staff continued to prepare for the opening of “Andy Warhol: Revelation” while the facility was closed due to the pandemic. The show looks at Warhol’s relationship with his Catholic faith and how that shaped his artistic output. It will be up through Nov. 29.

“We feel confident that we can share it with a lot of people even under reduced capacity and reduced hours,” Reily said of the exhibition.

The director said, while he’s been happy with all of the digital content flowing out of the museum since shutdown, he’s thrilled to open the building back up to the public. 

According to a press release from the museum, front line health care workers can get in for free through June 30, 2021. 

See This Exhibition Of Louisville Black Artists In Virtual Reality Monday, Jun 15 2020 

The art show “Black Before I Was Born” opened at Roots 101 African American Museum in Louisville in February. But it shut down about two weeks later due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The exhibition’s curator, multimedia artist Ashley Cathey, said the work by the Black artists, most of whom live in Louisville, was too important not to be seen. 

“We were basically discussing how we address being Black on a daily basis, and how that shapes our lives, how we also don’t have a lot of control over that narrative as far as how people see us, this happened before we existed,” Cathey said. 

In the case of Cathey’s work displayed in the show, she said it’s about the “weaponization” of her skin. 

“For some reason, when you look at me, you see a gun, you see a threat, but I’m just skin and flesh and organs like anyone else,” she said. “Unfortunately because I was Black before I was born, I walk into a space and I’m Black before then.” 

With the work sitting in the gallery, unable to have an audience, Cathey decided to create a virtual reality experience of the exhibition. That way people could view it, and buy it, without leaving their homes. It’s official opening is Sunday, June 21, and it will be online for about a month. 

Art In Virtual Reality 

She had recently been a part of a show in Brooklyn, a VR art show that simulated actually being in the gallery.

“It was really cool, and I really liked the fact that you could walk through it,” she said. 

Cathey had no experience creating something like this, but she found a digital platform that allowed her to build virtual gallery walls. Then she took photos of the artwork, photographed by local artist Kenyatta Bosman, and pulled those into Photoshop to make 3D renderings. There wasn’t a template for her to use. 

“I [didn’t] have a lot to do in quarantine. So I had a lot of time to kind of mess it up and try again and fail.” 

Courtesy Ashley Cathey

A screenshot of the VR art show.

She also wanted the VR experience to feel interactive. 

“When each person logs in from their IP address, it’ll show a small, little ghostly avatar,” Cathey asid. “So when you’re walking around in the space, you’ll see the people actually walk past you.”

There’s also a chat box. That way you can have conversations with other people in the virtual gallery. She said you can use a VR headset for the immersive experience. But she thinks the computer 2D version is cool too. 

VR Presents New Opportunities For Artists To ‘Create Their Own Space’

Louisville oil painter Sandra Charles has several works in the “Black Before I Was Born” exhibit, featuring Black women, “who had overcome obstacles in their lives, and I asked them if they would model for me as African warrior queens.”

Charles loves that this exhibition gets to have a longer life via virtual reality, especially since you don’t have to be in Louisville to go see it now.

“It opens it up to everybody in the world,” Charles said.

She added that it can be a tough slog for Black artists to break into the art world, feeling shut out by many galleries, which are often a major conduit for artists to sell pieces.

“If most of the people that come to their gallery are White, they may not want the African-American art, especially if the work is depicting the African-American experience,” she said. “So I think this virtual just opens it up to everybody.”

Chip Calloway, of MAD MOON VyBE Artwork, agrees.

“You create your own space, and that’s really what we need to [do is] create our own spaces,” Calloway, who is also featured in the “Black Before I Was Born” show, said. “So instead of beating down the doors of certain galleries that wouldn’t let you in, you’re actually creating your virtual four walls.”

Curator Ashley Cathey hopes this VR exhibition will provide exposure for the artists. She wants more people to know about them, to buy their work and to commission them to make new work. But she also wants people to understand that this show speaks to a reality that Black people have lived for centuries. 

“What’s happening in the world now, has been happening,” she explains. “It’s just hasn’t been happening in your world and it hasn’t caused chaos in everyone’s world. This is why we’re doing exhibitions to speak through our work, and to be present in a world that also doesn’t always accept us.”

Photos: Confederate Monument Removed From Kentucky’s Capitol Saturday, Jun 13 2020 

A statue of Jefferson Davis is on its way out of the Kentucky State Capitol Building. 

Crews removed it over the course of two days after the state’s Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted 11 to 1 to relocate it to Jefferson Davis Historic Park, in Fairview.

Cathy Thomas, who is the only Black member, said she voted for it to go because a monument to the former president of the Confederacy doesn’t belong at the Capitol.

“He is a symbol of the Confederacy that might still have me in chains. And that is why removing divisive symbols such as this, especially from publicly funded spaces that I pay into, it’s necessary and long overdue.” 

The one dissenting vote, Brandon Wilson, says he joined this board to quote “protect history, not remove it.”

A crew of more than a dozen, all in fluorescent yellow shirts, worked for hours to remove the Davis statue from where it has stood since 1936. While they worked, they recovered artifacts from the statue’s hollow plinth, including a newspaper dated Oct. 20, 1936 and an old empty bottle of Kentucky bourbon whiskey with a note inside.

 

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Steel beams installed to support the floor beneath the Jefferson Davis statue in the Capitol Rotunda.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A crew of more than a dozen men lay metal rails during the removal process of the Davis statue at the State Capitol on June 12, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A crew begins work on removing a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda on June 12, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A crew begins work on removing a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Gwendolyn McCullough takes a break from cleaning to watch crews begin to remove the Davis statue from the Capitol on June 12, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Crew members shine a light on the statue’s plaque.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Crew members remove the statue’s plaque on June 12, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A crew of more than a dozen men begin to remove a statue of Jefferson Davis from the State Capitol Building on June 12, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org
Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A crew member takes a measurement, preparing to remove the 15-foot marble statue of Jefferson Davis on June 12, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Crew members work on removing a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Kentucky State Capitol Building on June 13, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

A crew member reaches into the hollow base of the statue, where the found an old newspaper and a bourbon bottle with a note inside.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Workers pass off artifacts found inside the hollow base of the Jefferson Davis statue.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org
Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

One of the artifacts found inside the hollow base of the Jefferson Davis statue on June 13, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Crew members secure the Jefferson Davis statue on June 13, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

First Lady of Kentucky Britainy Beshear watches with her two kids.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org
Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Gov. Andy Beshear stops by during the removal process on June 13, 2020.

Stephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Gov. Beshear takes a look inside the base of where the statue once stood.

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