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Maine

Controversial Melville Fuller Statue In Augusta To Go Back To Donor

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Joe Phelan
/
The Kennebec Journal via AP
The statue of United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Melville Fuller is displayed outside Kennebec County Courthouse, Thursday April 8, 2021, in Augusta, Maine.

The controversial statue of 19th Century Supreme Court Chief Justice Melville Fuller will go back to the family member who donated it within a year's time, and for the price of $1.

The decision was made at a Tuesday meeting of the Kennebec County Commissioners.

Authorities in Kennebec County have been debating the fate of the statue ever since concerns were raised in the legal community and among activists over whether it really belonged outside a modern hall of justice.

An Augusta native, Fuller rose to the nation's highest court, where he was instrumental in the landmark Plessy v. Fergusson decision, which made the racist policy of separate but equal the law of the land.

It's not yet clear where the statue will wind up, or how long it will remain in place.