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United Daughters of the Confederacy say they never ‘deeded’ statue to the City of Alexandria

UDC: "The City is not the owner of, and never has been the owner of the statue at issue"
Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 2:51 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) -The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) has responded to the City of Alexandria’s effort to be declared the official owner of the Confederate monument outside of the Rapides Parish courthouse. The City is pushing to remove the statue from the spot it is currently placed.

Back in June, City Attorney David Williams filed a petition to have the Rapides Parish 9th Judicial District Court declare the City the sole owner of the statue, which according to newspaper records, was donated back in 1914 and placed at the courthouse in 1962. The petition was served to both the Rapides Parish Police Jury and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that raised the money and presented the statute more than 100 years ago.

But, in a new court filing, attorney Alan Pesnell of Marksville, who represents the UDC Thomas Overton Moore Chapter and its president Carolyn Ann Cleveland in the legal matter, writes that the “City was never deeded or donated an unconditional title to the statue,” and instead, “the statue at issue was conditionally dedicated to the people of Rapides Parish and the City, on the requirement of public display and view in the locality of Alexandria.”

The UDC claims it did not dedicate the statue to be displayed at a state or other historical site, “rather it was given to be displayed in the local public venue.” The group also states that it sought the permission of the Rapides Parish Police Jury, who was also served with the City’s petition, to relocate the statue to the courthouse property from its previous location outside the old City Hall.

The UDC also maintains that the Police Jury has refused to care for and maintain the statue. Pesnell continues by writing the “UDC has never abandoned nor delegated its ownership interest in the statue nor its obligations as owner to care for, maintain, and/or repair the statue.” Pesnell later argues that the City and the Police Jury are not the owners “and have never been” the owners of the statue.

A court date to hear the matter has not been set yet. The case is assigned to Judge Monique Rauls.

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