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Mayor holding press conference to address concern with proposed Confederate statue move to PA

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie is holding a news conference today (June 12) at 2:30 p.m. to address the proposed move of the Dick Dowling statue to Port Arthur.

The conference will take place in front of City Hall.

Today’s press conference follows news Thursday that two statues that pay tribute to the Confederacy will be removed from Houston city parks, according to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

The statue of a Confederate soldier called “Spirit of The Confederacy” will be moved from Sam Houston Park downtown to the Houston Museum of African American Culture. There “it can be interpreted in a way that promotes an inclusive and anti-racist community,” said Ann Stern, president and CEO of the Houston Endowment, a museum benefactor.

A statue of Richard W. “Dick” Dowling, a Confederate artillery commander prominent in the naval victory against two Union vessels in the Battle of Sabine Pass, will be moved from Hermann Park to the Sabine Pass Battleground State Historical Site near Port Arthur.

The relocations were recommended by a city task force Turner appointed to consider the issue.

Many Confederate symbols and monuments have been damaged or brought down by demonstrators and removed by local authorities since the death of George Floyd, an African American man whose death has become a worldwide symbol in demonstrations calling for changes to police practices and an end to racial prejudice.