Daviess County Fiscal Court intends to vote Aug. 6 on a resolution to remove the Confederate monument from the courthouse lawn. But, if approved, where would it go? Judge Executive Al Mattingly and commissioners aren’t saying.
If the bronze statue part of the monument was not among the best and most expensive works of public art that Owensboro has ever had, I and many other local residents would not care where it went. However, it is a very fine sculpture by a nationally renowned sculptor whose works continue to sell on the secondary art market.
Many people have said they would like to see it moved to a local museum, where its symbolism and historical meaning could be accurately described. Unfortunately, the Owensboro City Commission has ruled out the Owensboro Area Museum of Science and History, as that museum is located on city property. This is one more example of city government making key decisions that affect all Owensboro residents, who own the museum building, without seeking their input.
Mattingly has said the monument is owned by the public. That means if the monument is moved, the residents of Owensboro/Daviess County must be part of an open, transparent process of deciding where it would be placed.
Toward that end, I ask Fiscal Court to include language in the removal resolution specifying a public process for determining where the monument would be relocated. The entire text of the resolution should be on Fiscal Court’s website prior to the meeting and available in the local news media.