- Associated Press - Monday, June 12, 2017

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky panel that rejected requests to remove a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the state’s Capitol Rotunda in 2015 has scheduled a meeting to begin producing educational materials designed to place the statue in historical context.

The nearly two-year gap between the Historic Properties Advisory Commission’s 7-2 vote in August 2015 and the tentatively scheduled June 21 meeting has drawn criticism from groups advocating the statue’s removal, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported (https://bit.ly/2skxfVm ).

Raoul Cunningham, president of the state and Louisville NAACP chapters, says the delay is proof that the decision to create educational material was “just a way to avoid our longstanding proposal of removing the Davis statue from the seat of our state government.”

Commission chairman Steve Collins attributed the delay to the December 2015 change in gubernatorial administrations, the appointment of a new state curator in February 2016 and only one commission meeting last year.

Collins said the commission’s goal is to meet three or four times a year and quickly produce the materials at minimal expense.

The marble likeness of Davis was unveiled at the capitol in 1936. Requests for its removal came as states in the South, including South Carolina and Louisiana, decided to remove prominent Confederate flags and monuments after a white avowed racist fatally shot nine black parishioners at a South Carolina church in 2015.

The killer, Dylann Roof, brandished Confederate battle flags in photos, recharging a debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com

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