Decision on Tennessee Capitol’s Confederate bust on hold until 2021

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The final decision on whether to remove the bust of a Confederate general and early Ku Klux Klan leader from the Tennessee Capitol won’t come this year.

Susan McClamroch of the Tennessee Historical Commission says state law allows the panel to begin considering the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust as soon as the next regularly scheduled meeting in October, then a final vote can follow as early as February 2021.

The timing requirements are included in the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which allows initial consideration of a waiver to move a historic memorial only at a regular commission meeting at least 60 days from when the petition is filed. There are generally three regular meetings a year.

The final vote can occur at another regular meeting no sooner than 180 days after the petition was filed. Passage must be by at least a two-thirds margin.

The State Capitol Commission recommended last week that busts of Forrest and Admirals David Farragut and Albert Gleaves be moved from the Capitol to the state museum. Republican Gov. Bill Lee suggested moving Forrest’s bust to the museum.

McClamroch says the Historical Commission is awaiting communication about a waiver request from the Capitol Commission.

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