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Beauvoir aims to claim Confederate statues

With Confederate statues coming down all across the country, Beauvoir, The Jefferson Davis Home and Presidential Library in Biloxi, is aiming to find a place for those displaced monuments.

The Home released a letter to the public via Facebook last night regarding the requests for the statues.

“Beauvoir has expressed an intent to take any Confederate statue(s) that any city or jurisdiction has decided to take down. We believe the Beauvoir campus is the most appropriate, contextual location for these monuments. We ask the cooperation of any and all fair minded people to help with Beauvoir’s acquisition of these statues. Our vision is to include the monuments as part of our historical narrative at Beauvoir. By expressing our desire for these monuments, we are in no way defending or condoning slavery, which was and is an evil institution that has no color or creed and has existed since the dawn of time. Our core mission is to educate and commemorate the ideals of our rich heritage as Americans and particularly as Southern Americans. We have a rich history which encompasses much more than the events of the Civil War, but the War accentuated the character and integrity of the South.”

Dr. Tom Payne, Executive Director of Beauvoir, said that the costs of acquiring the statues could be great.

“Just taking them down costs hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Payne. “Then you’ve got to move them..then once they’re here, build a platform and set them back up.”

Beauvoir is a not-for-profit establishment running on zero dollar budget. Payne said they would have to rely on cost-sharing, grants, crowdfunding and other donations to bring the statues to the property.

“Then, we could manage the upkeep once they are here,” said Payne.

Since the national press release has just gone out, Dr. Payne said no one has responded yet. They decided to reach out on a national level when the confederate statues in New Orleans came down, but were not transferred to Biloxi.

“They made it clear that they did not want to give the statues to anyone,” said Dr. Payne. “So if you’re a rational person, rational mayor, rational governor and want these somewhere, we can take them… if you don’t want to see them end up in a scrap heap.”

Donations toward the project can be made via mail at 2244 Beach Blvd. Biloxi MS 39531. The Home will also establish a GoFundMe account for the specific purpose.

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