ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- A judge on Monday ruled the City of St. Louis cannot remove the Confederate monument in Forest Park until a trial is complete to determine the owner of the monument.
Both the city and the Missouri Civil War Museum claim ownership of the now controversial monument.
"It's a monument we feel that we own," said Mark Trout, the museum's executive director who filed a lawsuit Friday evening.
Trout says the structure was gifted to his organization by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that originally raised the money for the monument more than years ago. Trout's museum of Civil War artifacts opened in 2013 in South St. Louis County.
The museum is offering to take down the monument at their own expense and place it in storage, promising never to display it in St. Louis City or County.
A spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson issued a statement Friday saying the city controls the monument and their plan is to remove it and place it in storage. The plan is then to look at proposals from groups interested in taking ownership of the structure.
The city says they are on the hook for a $26,000 crane which was reserved to come to the site Tuesday to remove the largest portion of the monument, estimated to weigh 50 tons. The judge's orders also costs the city $1,000 a day for rental of heavy construction equipment. In total, the contractor the city is using estimates the total expenses are $50,000 so far.
The trial is set to begin July 6, 2017.