Author sues to stop removal of controversial Kentucky mural

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FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2018, file photo, artist Karyn Olivier creates contextual art around the University of Kentucky’s controversial 1930s mural, seen on the wall in the background, in Memorial Hall in Lexington, Ky. A Kentucky writer and his wife sued the university Monday, July 6, 2020, to try to stop the removal of the mural that has been the object of protest for its depictions of Black people and Native Americans. University President Eli Capilouto announced in June 2020 that the mural would be coming down. Meanwhile, the National Coalition Against Censorship made public a letter that separately asks the university to halt its plans, saying it would negate the work of Olivier, a Black artist who created an installation that responds to the mural. (Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader via AP, File)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Award-winning Kentucky writer Wendell Berry and his wife have sued the University of Kentucky to try to stop the removal of a mural that has been the object of protest for its depictions of Black people and Native Americans.

University President Eli Capilouto announced last month that the mural would be coming down.

The suit says the federal government gave the state limited rights to the artwork and those rights transfer back to the federal government if the state chooses to no longer display it.

The university said in a statement that removing the mural is necessary for the community to heal.

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