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Tennessee panel to vote on Confederate bust removal

The Forrest bust was first installed at the Capitol in 1978 and has sparked protests and demonstrations ever since.
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest is displayed in the...
FILE - In this Aug. 17, 2017 file photo, a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest is displayed in the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, remained torn on whether to support a proposal the removal of a contentious bust of a former Confederate general and early leader of the Ku Klux Klan. If approved by the GOP-controlled Legislature, the measure encourages the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest be removed from the Tennessee Capitol and instead be replaced with an “appropriate tribute to a deserving Tennessean.” (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)(WVLT)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 6:39 AM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — State officials on Thursday will take a key step in the effort to remove a bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader from the Tennessee Capitol.

The seven-member State Building Commission is scheduled to vote on the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust, as well as the busts of two other Tennessee military leaders.

The Forrest bust was first installed at the Capitol in 1978 and has sparked protests and demonstrations ever since.

Tennessee’s Black legislative caucus has particularly been vocal about how painful it has been to walk by the bust, displayed prominently between the House and Senate chamber, as they carry out their work each day.

Earlier this year, Tennessee’s Historical Commission voted 25-1 to move the three busts just north of the Capitol building to the state’s museum, noting it was better equipped to furnish the appropriate historical context.

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