Illinois house to review Capitol artifacts for offensive depictions

Illinois Capitol News
Racial Injustice Illinois Capitol

Statues of legendary Illinois politicians Abraham Lincoln, left, and his longtime nemesis Stephen A. Douglas, right, adorn the second floor of the state Capitol rotunda in this Sept. 16, 2020, photo. House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, named a task force to review Capitol art for objectionable material. An exterior statue of Douglas was removed from the Capitol grounds last summer after revelations that Douglas had owned slaves in the mid-19th century. (AP Photo by John O’Connor)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House task force will review artifacts in the state Capitol for their depiction of historical figures with racist or other objectionable traits. House Speaker Chris Welch on Wednesday announced the Statue and Monument Review Task Force.

The review follows last summer’s removal of a Capitol statue of Stephen A. Douglas. Douglas was a influential U.S. senator whose rivalry with Abraham Lincoln fueled Lincoln’s rise. But revelations that Douglas profited from slavery damaged his image.

Like other U.S. cities, a commission recently recommended 41 Chicago monuments for review in an effort at “racial healing and historical reckoning.”

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