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William Faulkner Statue In Jeopardy

Oxford, MS wants to build a statue of William Faulkner out of bronze and place it facing the courthouse square to mark the 100th anniversary of his birth. But while the town, who didn't like him much when he was alive, wants to honor their native son, and attract tourists in the process, others object. The others mainly being Faulkner's relatives.

"Oxford didn't appreciate him," said his nephew, "Chooky" Falkner (who uses the original spelling of the family name). "We're a private people. We don't like to be used," added nephew Jimmy Faulkner.

Oxford Mayor John Leslie, a supporter of the statue, has said that Mississippi law requires no family approval for erecting a likeness of a dead person. "When a man dies," the mayor said, "he belongs to the ages."

The town secretly removed a bicentennial magnolia tree to make room for the statue, which Mayor Leslie also defends. He planted the tree in 1976, he said, so he had a right to order it chopped down. Protesters have placed wreaths at the stump.

Final statue status is still in doubt. In addition to being Faulkner's hometown, Oxford, MS, is also the "grabbling capital of the world."



79 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS
Neilson's. Downtown, on the northwest side of the courthouse square, just south of Jackson Ave. E.
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