ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Letters go out seeking some new institution to take away the Confederate monument from Forest Park.
Mayor Slay’s committee tasked with deciding what to do about the monument sent letters to local universities, the City Museum, Laumeier Sculpture Park and the Civil War Museum in Jefferson Barracks park.
The mayor’s supervisor of the project — Director of Human Services Eddie Roth — says no decision has been made yet whether the monument will stay or go.
“The purpose of the committee is simply to recommend to the mayor what the best options are,” Roth said, “To think about moving the monument implies that you have a place where it would be suitable to go.”
Roth says the estimated cost of moving the 30-foot tall, 35 ton structure is $100,000.
Slay broached the subject of relocating the monument this spring, suggesting it sends the wrong message to have a tribute to Confederate soldiers and sailors in the heart of Forest Park.
Roth says his research shows the monument was part of a nationwide trend during the turn-of-the-century to “revise history” so that the Confederate cause would seem noble with no mention of slavery.
Asked whether the mayor has authority to form a committee that can move a monument, Roth insists he does.
“We have a long history of moving monuments, and nobody knows that better than sympathizers of the Confederate cause,” Roth said.
Years ago, Roth claims, the city moved a monument honoring Union General Nathaniel Lyon, the hero of the Battle of Arsenal Street, because a wealthy descendant of a Confederate general didn’t want the statute near St. Louis University, where she was planning to make a substantial donation of money.