Confederate statue of Klan founder painted pink by Tennessee van - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Confederate statue of Klan founder painted pink by Tennessee vandals

The statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest was painted pink by vandals who struck in the night. (Source: WZTZ/CNN) The statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest was painted pink by vandals who struck in the night. (Source: WZTZ/CNN)

NASHVILLE, TN (WZTV/CNN) – A statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, who also founded the Ku Klux Klan, was attacked by vandals who splashed pink paint on it in the dark of night, the statue's owner said.

The statue, which has been criticized for its artistic merit as well as the ideology it portrays, has been standing on land owned by private citizen Bill Dorris since 1997.

Dorris said he checked on the statue about four days ago and it wasn’t harmed. The vandalism had to have taken place overnight, he said.

"Obviously we’ve got some cowards," he said.

The vandalism took place a few days after the city of Memphis took down some Confederate statues, including one of Forrest.

Nashville resident Zac Talley called the statue "offensive" and "disgusting."

"When you think about groups … such as the KKK or any extremist group that feels one race is more supreme than the other, then we don’t need that kind of representation. We have enough of that as it is," he said.

But tourist Alexa Oliva said the statue and others like it should not be taken down because "it’s part of our history."

"It’s who we were," she said. "And don’t want it to define us in the future."

Dorris said this isn’t the first time he’s had to deal with vandalism and people who’d like to see the statue taken down.

"Why should I take something down that’s private property and a First Amendment right?" Dorris said.

Copyright 2017 WZTZ via CNN. All rights reserved.

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