Turning Angel is back on pedestal; repair work to be done over 2 weekends

Volunteers worked Monday morning in the Natchez City Cemetery to place the Turning Angel statue back atop its pedestal so a restoration expert can repair damage to the statue that occurred when the statue was toppled from its pedestal in an act of vandalism on June 23.

Within three days of the damage, police arrested Austin Petty, 20, of Crosby and charged him with felony malicious mischief for allegedly jumping on to the pedestal and rocking the angel until it fell off, damaging the right wing on the statue.

Since the incident occurred, the statue has lain under a Visqueen tarp in the cemetery as Natchez City Cemetery Board members have worked to hire a specialist to do the restoration work on the statue that was placed in the cemetery to look over five young female victims of a 1908 drug company fire in Natchez.

On Aug. 13, board members hired Emily Ford of Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation in New Orleans to make the repairs with an estimate for the work of between $2,000 and $3,000, depending on the process used for the repair work.

Funding for the project was raised via online crowdsourcing on GoFundMe.com, which raised $17,734. Leftover funds will be used for security for the cemetery, board members said.

Natchez City Cemetery Board President Elise Rushing said Ford will be at the cemetery this weekend working to repair the damage to the statue and volunteers, including Dave Pace of Brookhaven Monument Company and his employees and volunteer Adolph Wagner of Church Hill, spent Monday morning using a lift to place the Turning Angel back onto its pedestal.


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