Petition calls for St. Louis to be renamed, removal of statue on Art Hill

The creators of the petition say "Nazi Germany gained inspiration and ideas" from city's namesake

Sam Masterson
June 19, 2020 - 10:08 am
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - A petition has been made with hopes of changing the city's name in St. Louis and taking down a statue of its namesake, Saint Louis IX in Forest Park. The creators say the city's name is "outright disrespect" to Jewish and Muslim residents and they're asking for support. 

The petition on Change.org was started this week, after the statue of Christopher Columbus in Tower Grove Park was taken away. Local writer Umar Lee is a co-signer of the petition. 

Saint Louis statue, Art Hill
(Getty Images)
"For those unfamiliar with King Louis IX he was a rabid anti-semite who spearheaded many persecutions against the Jewish people. Centuries later Nazi Germany gained inspiration and ideas from Louis IX as they embarked on a campaign of murderous genocide against the Jewish people. Louis IX was also vehemently Islamophobic and led a murderous crusade against Muslims which ultimately cost him his life," the petition states. 

The statue of Louis IX, which now sits on top of Art Hill in front of the St. Louis Art Museum, was unveiled in 1906. It served as the symbol of St. Louis until the Gateway Arch was completed in 1965. 

Louis IX is the only King of France to be canonized in the Catholic Church. He became king when he was 12-years-old and is credited with changing the judicial process in France, with trials no longer being settled by combat, but instead by evidence and Roman law.

He was also known as a devoted Catholic, who ordered the burning of some 12,000 manuscript copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books.

"I ask all people of good faith committed to the modern values of equity and coexistence to sign this petition to rename the City of St. Louis to something more suitable and indicative of our values," the petition states.

The petition has 133 signatures as of Friday morning, with a goal of 200. 

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