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Last updated on Thursday, June 25, 2009
(BEDFORD) - The controversial ten commandments monument is no longer on the subway lot.
The ten commandments monument that sat at the Subway restaurant on the downtown square has left the building.
Wednesday morning between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM crews came to remove the 13,700 pound piece of limestone to repair and refurbish it.
Senator Brent Steele says that the monument had skateboard marks and stains.
The monument wasn't intended for subway, it was built as a gift to the state from the Indiana limestone industry, but was brought to a halt by the Indiana Civil Liberty Union.
After it gets cleaned it won't necessarily be heading back to Subway.
Steele says that he has wrote a letter to Governor Daniels asking for the approval for the Attorney General of the state to allow a petition to over rule the blockade put on moving the ten commandments to the statehouse property as previously decided by courts when Steele attempted to replace the original Statehouse ten commandments which were severely damaged in 1991 and taken off of the property.
Steele originally had the new monument which sat at Subway, created as a gift for the state from the local limestone industry.
The Indiana Civil Liberty Union halted the idea of putting a new monument on the grounds by suing the state.
The monument never went to the Statehouse.
The big ten remained in Bedford, and when Lawrence County Commissioners unanimously voted to put the new monument on the Lawrence County Courthouse Lawn, ICLU again put a halt to the idea.
The new Subway building across the road from the courthouse was just finishing its rebuild after it was destroyed by fire in April 2002; and the owner, Kim Henderson agreed to give the limestone a home.
The setting at its Subway location was dedicated around this time during the Limestone Heritage Festival on July 4th, 2002.
United States Supreme Court previously allowed an almost identical case to pass in Texas, with the ten commandments being able to remain on Texas Statehouse property.
The ten commandments on the Texas Statehouse property were allowed to remain on the property due to the fact that it was a historical monument consistent with all of the other monuments on the property.
The Indiana statehouse's original ten commandments were severely vandalized in 1991 and removed form the property.
Senator Steele says that if Indiana courts are only going to accept that the original monument be placed on the property, he will locate the original and see if it is possible at all to repair the damage using epoxy's and filling in broken areas with other limestone.
He located the original monument once before, he laughed while stating that when he saw it last "it looked more like 6 commandments".
If the original monument is accepted he will find a permenate home for the newer one; after its gets cleaned it will head August 1st to a local church and be displayed there until a decision is made.
If you ate at Subway on the Bedford square yesterday, you probably noticed the ten commandments monument was missing from it's concrete foundation.
The monument originally placed their a little while after the new subway building opened up in 2003 after it burned in April 2002, was built as a gift to the state from the local limestone industry, and was intended to sit on the statehouse lawn in Indy.
The monument is a replica of the original ten commandments that sat on the statehouse lawn from 1958 to 1991 when it was severely vandalized and had to be taken down.
After the new monument was built by Elliot Stone and ready to be placed in its new location at the statehouse, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union sued the state, stopping it from ever being placed on the lawn.
Brent Steele, the leading effort in getting the monument put on the statehouse lawn formed a non-profit organization, Ten Commandments Foundation Inc., which owns the monument and the 99 year lease donated by Kim Henderson for the Subway location when it did sit there.
In October, Lawrence County Commissioners unanimously voted to put the monument on the Lawrence County Courthouse lawn.
ICLU sued the county, and at that time the new Subway building was just opening when Henderson, the owner, donated the space in the front of the restaurant as a place for the monument to sit in the public eye.
Kim Henderson, former owner of Subway, says that the monument is now being moved back up to the statehouse.
Before it arrives at the statehouse, it will get cleaned and refurbished.
It was built in two parts, it's base weighing 11,000 pounds and the top weighing 2,700 pounds; it took two forklifts to move it to its Subway location.
The monument was moved Wednesday morning between 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM.
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