LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Bright orange paint was splattered across a monument that has stood in the heart of the Highlands for more than a century.
“This statue anchors this neighborhood in a wonderful and a beautiful way,” resident Don Harris said.
Cherokee Triangle neighbors were out on their Sunday morning walks, appalled by the vandalism.
“It just sickens me,” Harris added.
The statue, built in 1913, honors Kentucky native John B. Castleman, a Confederate officer during the Civil War.
The message painted on the statue is unclear but many Highlands neighbors speculate the vandalism is in response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“I guess it hit somebody’s nerves that they felt compelled to come vandalize this statue,” resident Ann McBride said.
“It doesn’t wipe away hate, it just creates more hate,” Harris added.
Officials with Metro Parks were called to the site to remove the paint. Crews quickly realized a power wash treatment was too strong and could damage the bronze on the statue.
As Louisville Metro Police investigates, residents in the Highlands say they’re stuck with an eyesore.
“[I’m] disappointed, shocked a bit because I really didn’t think we’d see this kind of vandalism,” McBride said.
General Castleman also fought in the Spanish-American War. He’s buried at Cave Hill Cemetery.
Some residents say because Castleman is wearing civilian clothing in the monument, the bronze statue is simply a piece of history.
“History is what history is – you don’t wipe away history by trying to destroy statues, buildings whatever it is,” Harris said.
Metro Parks says the city may have to hire a private contractor to remove the paint.