Beauvoir director: Interest in monuments is about a 12 on 1-10 scale

The director of Beauvoir, the home of Jefferson Davis, says they would like the Confederate-era monuments that have been removed from sites around the city of New Orleans.

BILOXI – As New Orleans prepares to take down the fourth and final Confederate-era monument that was slated for removal, the discussion has shifted to where the monuments may wind up.

Thomas Payne, the executive director at Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis’ final home in Biloxi, says the Mississippi mansion has reached out to the city to take all of the statues.

Supporters of the Take ‘Em Down movement have said the monuments would more appropriately be displayed in a museum. Beauvoir, the retirement home of Jefferson Davis, is a 52-acre estate and Civil War museum.

“Our interest, on a scale of 1-10 is about a 12,” said Payne.

Beauvoir has reached out to the city of New Orleans in an effort to obtain the monuments, but Payne said that so far there has been no response from Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s office.

The city of Biloxi is having its own debate over Confederate-era symbols. Mayor Fofo Gilich recently ordered the Mississippi state flag to be taken down at all city buildings because part of it contains the Confederate flag.

“That emblem, or that part of the flag is offensive to someone and I wouldn’t want to offend anyone,” he said.

But, Gilich has no problem with the New Orleans statues coming to Beauvoir.

“The place for that history and to honor that history is in a museum.”

Payne says if they are successful in getting the New Orleans monuments, they would put them on display and build a garden around them in a place of prominence on the property.

“We’re ready,” he said.

Eyewitness News asked the mayor’s office for a comment on whether Mayor Landrieu is willing to send the statues to Beauvoir. His office did not respond in time for the 5 and 6 pm newscasts. 

© 2017 WWL-TV


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