Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Committee Supports Removing Confederate Monument from Forest Park

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Committee Supports Removing Confederate Monument from Forest Park

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * A committee of business and civic interests is formally recommending that a Confederate monument be dismantled and moved from the Forest Park site it has occupied for the past 101 years.

Seizing on an initiative sparked by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, the committee of business and civic leaders proposes that the disassembled obelisk be turned over to the Missouri Civil War Museum or stored in a "secure location" owned by the city.

In a report issued Thursday morning, the committee hedged on whether the St. Louis Board of Aldermen should ultimately decide the fate of the memorial.

But it acknowledged that the "legislative process could provide an appropriate and robust public and political forum in which to debate and decide the monument's future."

The committee placed the cost of deconstructing and moving the statue at $129,280.

Slay said Thursday that moving the monument was contingent on raising private funding to cover the expense.

Dedicated in 1914, the 32-foot granite shaft features a bas-relief fresco titled "The Angel of the Spirit of the Confederacy."

The United Daughters of the Confederacy provided the bulk of the $23,000 funding for a monument that includes a sculpted interpretation of a family bidding farewell to a young Confederate soldier as he heads off to war.

An inscription memorializes "the soldiers and sailors of the Southern Confederacy, who fought to uphold the right declared by the pen of Jefferson and achieved by the sword of Washington "

Except for a 50th anniversary re-dedication ceremony in 1964, the obelisk stood in relative obscurity until June when the statue entered the national conversation on race prompted by the Black Lives Matter movement and the outcry over the murder of nine parishioners in a church in Charleston, S.C., that led to the removal of the Confederate flag flying over that state's capitol. …

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