NEW ORLEANS - A judge ruled this afternoon that a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard does, in fact, belong to the City of New Orleans.
The ruling comes after a surprise declaration by the Monumental Task Force earlier this week that the statue, which sits at the entrance to City Park, actually belongs to the park.
Judge Kern Reese handed down the ruling just before 11:00 a.m. this morning reaffirming the city’s ownership of the disputed statue, clearing the way for its removal.
At a press conference on May 8, Tulane University Professor Richard Marksbury of the Monumental Task Committee presented what he said was evidence that City Park was the rightful owner of the statue and, therefore, had the right to decide its fate.
Marksbury presented a copy of a notarized letter from 1997 that he said proved the park’s ownership.
Marksbury then attempted to file a temporary restraining order intended to keep the statue in place before today’s decision, but that order was rejected.
Today’s decision appears to clear the way for the statue’s removal.
The city has released the following statement in response to the judge's decision:
“We are pleased with the court’s thoughtful decision confirming the City’s right to remove the P.G.T. Beauregard statue, which has already been confirmed in both State and Federal courts. This win today will allow us to continue to turn the page and chart the course for a more inclusive future.”