Here's a news story about it's removal:
Next Thread |
Previous Thread |
Next Message |
Date Posted: Wednesday, September 12, 05:56:23pm
In reply to:
Why in the world would they have an assassins statue there?
's message, "There was actually a large statue of John Wilkes Booth at the entrance to the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It wasn't removed until last year." on Wednesday, September 12, 04:33:46pm
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum removes John Wilkes Booth statue
By Brian Robbins State Capitol Bureau
The State Journal-Register
Posted Apr 11, 2017 at 3:51 PM
Updated Apr 12, 2017 at 6:14 PM
Museum says its placement was ‘not acceptable.’
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has removed a statue of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, from the plaza at the front of the building because it sent the wrong message.
One regular visitor argues that sanitizing history sends the wrong message.
Christopher Wills, communications manager for the library and museum, said the Booth statue was removed last week because the museum believes the plaza should introduce visitors to Lincoln’s life, not his assassination.
“We believe visitors’ first impressions should be about the life of Illinois’ favorite son and not a reminder of his death. John Wilkes Booth’s role in President Lincoln’s story is significant, and we tell that story elsewhere in the museum,” Wills said in a written statement. “The prominent spot in the plaza was an untimely reminder of a horrific act and we felt any potential glorification, even if unintentional, was not acceptable.”
According to Wills, ALPLM’s executive director, Alan Lowe, and Sam Wheeler, the state historian, consulted on the issue of the Booth figure, which features the man with crossed arms and leaning on a pillar, and decided it was inappropriate and moved it into storage.
Lowe, who took the position in Springfield last July, was previously director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.
The Ford’s Theatre interior section of the museum that showcases a Booth statue sneaking into a room to assassinate Lincoln is still on display. Booth, an actor, shot Lincoln to death at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 1865.
Judy Bedore, a Springfield resident who frequents the museum, immediately noticed on Monday morning that the Booth statue was missing. She said she was told by a disgruntled volunteer that the statue had been removed because it wasn’t “politically correct.”
“I’m so upset about it. History showed during the second inauguration speech by President Abraham Lincoln that (Booth) was standing really close to the president,” Bedore said. “I couldn’t understand why they would remove this because it’s a part of history.”
There’s a historical picture showing Booth standing near Lincoln during his second inauguration, and Bedore said removing the statue is tarnishing history.
“The whole thing to me is just ludicrous, and I think it’s just terrible. I don’t know who’s responsible for doing this,” she said. “I just don’t understand who would think that it was wrong for him to be positioned there. It’s true, it’s history.”
Devin Hunter, an assistant professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he hadn’t heard of any controversy surrounding removal of the Booth figure, but Civil War Confederate statues and memorials have been getting a lot of attention lately.
“Usually moving or reinterpreting figures come about after some level of public pressure, whereas for this one, I haven’t heard any,” Hunter said. “For the most part, those issues deal with Confederate statues or memorials that people believe have outlived their use. To have something this specific is not unusual, but this particular case is an interesting one.”
Additionally, Hunter said moving the figure could be a part of the museum’s plans to implement new exhibits.
“I know that the Lincoln museum in particular has been looking for ways to refresh and revitalize some of their permanent exhibits. This might be one that came up in a decision to keep things fresh.” he said.
According to Wills, there wasn’t any particular reason why the Booth statue was removed now, but the new director of the ALPLM thought it was in a puzzling place.
“The director said it had struck him when he first visited and was surprised that it was there. He didn’t want to rush into anything and wanted to live with it for a while and see how he felt,” Wills said. “He talked with the state historian, Sam Wheeler, and he agreed with him entirely. (They) waited and gathered input enough (to decide that) now is a good as time as any to make a change.”
This isn’t the first time the 12-year-old Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has dealt with a controversial John Wilkes Booth item. In 2012, the museum pulled a bobble-head of the assassin from its gift shop.
Next Thread |
Previous Thread |
Next Message |