City leaders decide to not relocate confederate monument to Owensboro Museum of Science and History

City leaders decide to not relocate confederate monument to Owensboro Museum of Science and History

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - The confederate monument that sits on the lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse has now been a hot button issue for months.

“It is not a pleasant thing for people of color,” Owensboro City Commissioner Pam Smith-Wright said.

As the vote to determine the fate of the statue moves closer, the NAACP has been looking into alternative homes for the statue.

“(Owensboro NAACP President) Rhondalyn Randolph had asked if it could go into the museum and we were thinking that there wasn’t a problem with that,” Commissioner Smith-Wright said.

Kathy Olson, the CEO of the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, says the museum would have accepted the statue with open arms.

“We would have been able to relay the comprehensive history surrounding Owensboro and the nation during that time period, along with the specific history about the statue,” Olson said.

The commissioner says she was hoping that moving the statue to the museum could create a teachable moment.

“I want it to be a learning experience, and that’s the kind of thought we had when it went into the museum,” Commissioner Smith-Wright said.

However, following a discussion with her fellow commissioners, Smith-Wright says they ultimately came to the decision that moving it to another building owned by the local government wouldn’t be the best decision.

“I just felt like we’re just kicking the can down the road because of the fact that with the city owning the building that there are people who would say, ‘I’m a taxpayer, I don’t want it there,’” Commissioner Smith-Wright said.

Smith-Wright says our community does not need something that creates such divide.

“We don’t need that,” Commissioner Smith-Wright. “We need something to bring us together.”

Copyright 2020 WFIE. All rights reserved.