A member of the Nigerian royal family has agreed to purchase four recently dismantled New Orleans Confederate-era monuments and donate them to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, with a few stipulations, according to Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser.
A person identified as His Royal Highness Prince Modupe of Dubrica has reportedly promised to help Nungesser, who staunchly opposed removal of the monuments earlier this year, accomplish his goal of acquiring them and possibly displaying them at state parks and historic sites in Louisiana. In order to do that, however, Modupe said the state must front him $50,000 to enable him to access his vast wealth and transfer the necessary funds to the city of New Orleans to complete the transaction.
While the exact amount needed to buy the statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Generals P.G.T. Beauregard and Robert E. Lee, and the Battle of Liberty Place Monument, is undetermined, Nungesser insists the state’s mysterious potential benefactor has vowed to pay any price to secure them following New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s successful campaign to have them taken down.
“All Prince Modupe has asked for in return is an advance of $50,000 in U.S. currency so he can get to his money that’s in a special Nigerian bank account.”
“His Royal Highness has generously offered to spend as much of his own money as necessary to purchase the monuments and donate them to the state in order to prevent Mitch Landrieu from erasing history,” Nungesser told reporters in Baton Rouge. “All Prince Modupe has asked for in return is an advance of $50,000 in U.S. currency so he can get to his money that’s in a special Nigerian bank account.”
The Republican former president of Plaquemines Parish insisted Modupe, who Nungesser said reached out to him via email, has given his word that the $50,000 will be refunded to the state after the transaction has been completed.
Nungesser also said Modupe’s interest in purchasing and donating the controversial monuments supports Nungesser’s claim that they do not promote racial division by glorifying the defense of legalized slavery.
“The fact that a Nigerian prince is willing to use his personal fortune to preserve these statues proves that they have nothing to do with race.”