King Louis XVI statue being removed amid safety concerns

September 3, 2020

After careful consideration by city leaders and in accordance with the guidance in the 2018 Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee Report, the decision has been made to remove the statue of King Louis XVI from its place at the corner of Jefferson and 6th streets amid public safety concerns. Given the statue’s damaged condition, officials are concerned about further destruction, causing potential injury to people in the area.

Crews began work at about 7 a.m. Thursday. The statue is being taken to a city storage facility, and any future plans for the statue will be determined following a conservation assessment.

The statue, which is made from marble, has sustained recent significant damage, including spray paint vandalism, surface abrasion from cleaning, and breakage on the figure’s arms and feet. Due to the material and condition of the statue, it cannot be reasonably cleaned and restored on-site.

Louisville was named after King Louis XVI following his support of the American revolutionaries. The statue was given by Louisville's sister city, Montpellier, France, in 1967. It was not commissioned by any person or group in the city of Louisville.