Monument preservation group launches late challenge to halt removal

Monument preservation group launches late challenge to halt removal
Published: May. 8, 2017 at 2:43 PM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2017 at 6:02 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A group opposed to removing three remaining Confederate era monuments tried an 11th-hour legal maneuver aimed at stopping the city of New Orleans from moving ahead with its plans to remove them.

With the stature of P.G.T Beauregard as a backdrop, monument supporter and plaintiff in the lawsuit Richard Marksbury told a gathering of media and supporters that City Park and not the City of New Orleans owns the land where the monument sits.

The Monumental Task Committee has asked a judge to block the removal of the statue based on land records that show the parcel was transferred to City Park Improvement Association and not the city of New Orleans.

The suit seeks immediate court action. It also provides legal documents asserting private ownership of the site. A similar lawsuit failed in federal court but this time around they say they have new information and they believe they'll have better luck.

"When this lawsuit was in federal court there were a bunch of different issues but nobody asserted ownership of the monuments we knew we now have archival research and new documents and it does make a difference," Marksbury said.

The group is also appealing to Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser to assert more authority over the issue. Nungesser has written a letter to the city park improvement association urging it to assert ownership over the monument and take immediate action.

The office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has yet to comment on today's announcement.

"City Park has just received copies of the lawsuit by Richard Marksbury against the City of New Orleans. We have not had an opportunity to review the allegations in the lawsuit but have instructed our attorneys to immediately review same," said City Park CEO Robert Becker.

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