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Court orders protections for Memphis Confederate statues

Ryan Poe, Memphis Commercial Appeal • Jan 30, 2018 at 10:25 AM

NASHVILLE — Memphis Greenspace Inc., the nonprofit that recently removed Confederate statues from two city parks, must keep and preserve the monuments, a court ordered on Monday.

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle barred the nonprofit from selling, gifting or moving the statues of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, President Jefferson Davis, and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes pending a "contested case hearing" before the Tennessee Historical Commission sometime within the next 60 days.

The commission, which rejected the city's request for a waiver to remove the Forrest statue in October, will determine whether the city violated state law when it sold the parks and statues to Greenspace for a total of $2,000 on Dec. 20, making the parks and the statues private property.

State laws require the commission's approval before removal of historical monuments — but only if the monuments are on public property.

The 16-page order's temporary injunction was a partial, if unsurprising, win for the Sons of Confederate Veterans Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp 215 as the organization seeks to return the statues to Health Sciences and Fourth Bluff parks in Downtown Memphis.

Read more from our media partners at the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

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