Saturday, October 22, 2016

Shreveport Work of Art Still Needs Funding for Restoration

Clio, the Muse of History
One of the great things about Shreveport/Bossier area is our love of art and our support of the arts. Another great thing is our love of history and our support of the many individuals, organizations and groups who both preserve and work to spread knowledge about our history.  Shreveport/Bossier has a fascinating history and many, many interesting characters have passed through our area.

The Caddo Parish Courthouse is in itself a work of art with a fascinating history.  Standing in front of the courthouse is a monument that is a true work of art and which is ignored by probably ninety-percent of the people who pass by.

Frank Teich, a Texas sculptor, created the Caddo Parish Confederate monument which was dedicated in 1906 before a crowd of thousands of residents and dignitaries.  It's a stunning work of art and my favorite part is the classical beauty, Clio.

Clio is the Muse of History who stands at the base of the monument in all of her classical beauty, holding a scroll in her left hand and with her right she is pointing to a memory book for the war dead.

As it turns out, Clio's arm was broken this past summer by a trespassing trumpet player who climbed over the decorative fence that encloses the monument, and then climbed the base of the monument. scaling his way up, he grabbed Clio's outstretched arm for support, and sat on a ridge just above her head to play his instrument. He rested his leg on her arm, and the arm shattered.

Clio's damaged hand

Just a few weeks after that, a vandal armed with paint filled balloons approached the monument in the dark of night, his face covered by a hood, and threw the balloons, thus dashing the monument with red paint and causing thousands of dollars in damage.  The photos below show some of the paint damage but trust me when I tell you it is much worse in person.

Paint damage

The artist, Mr. Teich has several other monuments in the city, including work at Greenwood Cemetery. It is a 30-foot tall granite and marble centaph depicting not just Clio, but also a lone soldier at the top of the column, and four busts of four Confederate generals. While Confederate monuments are present in many towns across the South, ours is unique in its beauty and composition. There is not another one like it.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

The Caddo Parish Confederate Monument 1905

The monument now needs our help.

The Shreveport Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy has obtained two estimates from reputable restoration experts to repair Clio and to remove the paint. It isn't as easy as going to Home Depot, getting chemical, and a water hose. The estimates are both very close and both very expensive.

The UDC is raising money to restore this monument. The estimates are in stages - one is to repair the hand, another for the paint removal and that includes overall cleaning from the pollutants that are eating away at the stone.

We need to raise $6,000.

That's a lot of money and the UDC does not have it.  The UDC is a non-profit group that gives its money to charities, so writing a $6,000 check is out of the question. Your help is needed.

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the repair of the Caddo Parish Confederate Monument. Your support is needed now, more than ever. Your donation can be sent directly to the Shreveport Chapter of the UDC:

United Daughters of the Confederacy
Shreveport Chapter #237
P. O. Box 52083
Shreveport, LA 71135-2083

No amount is too small.  And those end of the year tax deductions are coming up!

Please share this post on Facebook and via email; I'm hoping a wonderful philanthropist will see our need and help save this priceless work of art in our city.

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