Group threatens to sue City Park if Beauregard statue isn’t moved to private cemetery
NEW ORLEANS — A group that fought the removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans says it will file a lawsuit soon if the board that oversees City Park doesn’t take steps to move the P.G.T. Beauregard statue to a private cemetery.
At a press conference Wednesday, Tulane professor Richard Marksbury, a member of the Monumental Task Committee, said the city of New Orleans and the City Park Improvement Association agreed in May to negotiate over which entity owns the property on which the statue sat, but neither side lived up to that agreement.
The monument was subsequently removed, and the Beauregard statue is sitting on a city-owned storage site.
Marksbury said recent reports indicate that Greenwood Cemetery is willing to take Beauregard, a move that Marksbury said is supported by activists who pushed for Confederate monuments to be removed.
“The native son gets put in a cemetery. The mayor wanted everything contextualized. Well, a cemetery is contextualized,” Marksbury said. “Everybody can walk away with a win. We don’t have to go to court. It can be over and done.”
The city removed four monuments — Beauregard, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and the Battle of Liberty Place — over the course of several weeks and amid much controversy earlier this year.
Marksbury said if the City Park board and the city of New Orleans don’t come to the table soon to come up with a solution, his group will move forward with a lawsuit claiming that the City Park board has failed to perform its fiduciary responsibilities and protect its assets.