Thursday, July 09, 2020

"The controversy in Lexington, Ky., is similar to one at a San Francisco high school, where a series of murals depicting the life of George Washington upset students and parents because they showed scenes of slaves at work in the fields and barns of Washington’s Mount Vernon and, in one, Washington pointing westward over the dead body of a Native American man."

The New York Times: Students’ Calls to Remove a Mural Were Answered. Now Comes a Lawsuit.

On the similar San Francisco case -- where "the high school’s alumni association later sued, and there has not yet been a final conclusion in the legal battle" -- see here.

The plaintiff in the Kentucky case is Wendell Berry — "the writer, farmer and longtime Kentuckian" and whose wife (and co-plaintiff) is a niece of the artist who painted the mural.

Here is the complaint.

Interestingly, "at the center of the Berrys’ lawsuit is the argument that the mural is held in trust by the university, on behalf of the public."

Held in the public trust!

Kentucky-based conceptual law professor Brian Frye tweets: "I will confess that I see no basis for standing nor any viable claim. Removing the mural may or may not be the right call, but it's up to the University."