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Report: Ownership claims could halt Beauregard Monument removal
NEW ORLEANS – The statue of P.G.T. Beauregard will remain as is for the time being.
According to a letter from New Orleans City Attorney Rebecca H. Dietz, The New Orleans City Park Improvement Association has asserted legal rights in the property on which the monument is situated.
According to a report from WWL-TV, the letter was sent to the station by Richard Marksbury, who recently sought a restraining order that would block the removal based on related ownership claims. A Civil Court judge denied that request.
The letter from the city attorney, dated May 12, goes on to say that the city and City Park will “engage in good-faith negotiations to attempt to resolve their competing claims” over who owns the monument for a period of 30 days.
“Though the City does not agree with NOCPIA’s assertion, it recognizes NOCPIA’s authority to own, manage, and maintain park property and wishes to resolve the competing claims to the Property and any issues arising therefrom in an amicable and expeditious manner.”
The dispute over ownership of the property arose when Marksbury, a member of the Monumental Task Committee, filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court to prevent the City from removing the Beauregard Monument on the grounds that City Park actually owns that property, not the City of New Orleans.
The lawsuit was dismissed by Judge Kern Reese on May 10.
If City Park and the City of New Orleans do not come to an agreement in the next 30 days, then either side will have the right to initiate mediation.
WWL-TV says messages left with City Hall and City Park were not immediately returned.
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