King Louis XVI statue removed from protest site in Kentucky

A statue of King Louis XVI is being removed from the downtown of its namesake city in Kentucky after being vandalized

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A vandalized statue of King Louis XVI was being removed from the downtown of its namesake city in Kentucky on Thursday “amid public safety concerns,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Crews began dismantling the monument about 7 a.m. and were taking it to a city storage facility where it will undergo a conservation assessment, Fischer said in a written statement.

The 9-ton (8-metric-ton) marble statue, located in Jefferson Square Park downtown, has been vandalized in recent months amid ongoing protests over the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police conducting a no-knock warrant in March. One of the statue's hands was pulled off in May and the monument has been spray-painted in the weeks since.

“Given the statue’s damaged condition, officials are concerned about further destruction, causing potential injury to people in the area,” the mayor said.

A decision on the statue's future will be made after it is assessed, officials said.

The statue was given to Louisville by officials in Montpellier, France, in 1967.

Louisville was named after King Louis XVI because of his support of the colonies during the American revolution.