Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Review of Baltimore’s Confederate Statues

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Catherine E. Pugh
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
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Mayor Rawlings-Blake Announces Review of  Baltimore’s Confederate Statues

Special commission will examine monuments and launch public conversation about their appropriate role

BALTIMORE, Md. (June 30, 2015)– Today Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that she will call for a special commission to review all of Baltimore’s Confederate statues and historical assets.

Under the request, Mayor Rawlings-Blake will direct the special commission to launch a conversation about each of the different Confederate-era monuments and other historical assets and make recommendations for their future in Baltimore. The recommendations might include, but are not limited to, preservation, new signage, relocation, or removal. Mayor Rawlings-Blake will select the special commission from among members of the Baltimore City Commission For Historical & Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and the Baltimore Public Art Commission.

“I believe it is important for us to take a thoughtful, reasoned approach to these Confederate-era monuments, rather than rush to simply ‘tear them down’ or ‘keep them up’ in the heat of the moment,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “A special commission, under the guidance and direction of CHAP and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts, will take the time to thoroughly research the background and significance of each of these items and make a recommendation that recognizes and respects the history that we need future generations to understand. ”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake said she expects the commission to seek input from independent experts in history, art, culture, and race in the city’s history, as well as representatives of the community. Representatives of city agencies that work with Baltimore’s historical monuments and other public artwork, including the Department of Recreation and Parks, would also participate in the commission’s work, and legal research would be conducted to understand any requirements that might be associated with the items.

The commission will gather information on how other cities have handled similar questions regarding historic monuments – looking at Confederate-era statues in American cities, as well as elsewhere around the world. The commission will also invite public input to be part of its evaluation, perhaps through public hearings or a one-day symposium on monuments.

Once the commission members are selected, Mayor Rawlings-Blake asked that it aim to report its recommendations within six months.

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