St. Louis protesters want to remove statue of city’s namesake, King Louis IX

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Image of St. Louis statue

The moon over the Apotheosis of St. Louis statue of King Louis IX of France, namesake of St. Louis, Missouri in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri.

ST. LOUIS — Protesters are calling for the removal of a statue of St. Louis’ namesake, a French king-turned-saint who burned manuscript copies of Jewish religious texts during the Middle Ages, while another group is praying for the monument to stay.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that about a dozen police officers stood between a total of nearly 200 in both groups gathered Saturday at the Apotheosis of St. Louis, the formal name for the statue of King Louis IX atop Art Hill in Forest Park.

Louis IX is the only king of France to be canonized in the Catholic Church.

Monuments have become a topic of debate among recent protests over racial injustice. In Jackson County, Executive Frank White has called for the removal of statues of Andrew Jackson, who the county is named after. Jackson owned slaves.

As statues across the country topple or display vandalism, President Trump said anyone who damages a monument could face up to 10 years in prison.

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