Fight Erupts Over Where To Situate Symbol Of City

By Jeff Neumeyer

January 15, 2013 Updated Jan 15, 2013 at 7:15 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) --- Fort Wayne's mayor says he plans to seek private dollars to help pay for the re-location of a historic statue, that a preservation trust says should stay right where it is.

General Anthony Wayne is revered for founding Fort Wayne.

Now he's stirring up a fight over where his likeness should be displayed.

The statue of General Wayne is currently positioned in Freimann Square.

But in the 40 years since it was moved there, trees have grown up, and Mayor Tom Henry says for visitors and a lot of natives, it's now invisible.

His plan is to have crews pick up the general and his horse, and move them over to the Courthouse Green, where the statue could be a defining symbol, open to the eyes of one and all.

Members of a committee from the Allen County Courthouse Trust say the transplant would diminish the beauty and serenity of the Courthouse Green.

One member says it could be a first step toward turning the site into a carnival.

The mayor is willing to create a covenant that says Anthony Wayne would be the one and only statue allowed in the space.

" I'm trying to be as open as I possibly can, to give that committee input. But I do feel that Anthony Wayne needs a better area of visibility in downtown Fort Wayne," Mayor Henry said.

There is even a dispute over how much it will cost to re-locate the statue.

The mayor says the price tag should be about $75,000.

But a contractor that's looked into it says there are cracks in the statue and its base and that it could cost closer to $600,000 to restore and move it.

Mayor Henry insists that estimate is way out of bounds.

General Wayne, known for his battles with native American tribes back in the 1700's, might enjoy the fact that there are warring factions as well over where he should reside in 2013 and beyond.




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