New Orleans set to remove Robert E. Lee statue

Lauren Perry
May 20, 2017

Other monuments already removed by the Landrieu Administration include the Battle at Liberty Place, Jefferson Davis, and the P.G.T. Beauregard Monuments.

"Today we take another step in defining our city not by our past but by our bright future", Mayor Mitch Landrieu said in a statement.

Beauregard's statue, near City Park, was erected in 1915 in honor of the prominent general who led the attack on Fort Sumter in SC, a siege that marked the beginning of the Civil War.

The city of New Orleans is taking down a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, completing the Southern city's removal of four Confederate-related statues that some called divisive.

The last Confederate monument scheduled to be removed is the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, which is located in the center of Lee Circle.

While Roof's actions spurred a debate in many parts of the South about whether it was appropriate to fly the Confederate battle emblem - and many places have taken it down - the reaction in New Orleans seemed to go even further, knocking away at even weightier, heavier parts of history. It would be impossible to do the removal "at dark and maintain the safety of the construction workers", he said.

While many were supportive of removal, opinions varied widely in the crowd.

"These statues are not just stone and metal".

But he also believes that it's up to the communities where the monuments reside, and those communities should decide where that place in history is. "Ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, ignoring the terror that it actually stood for".

"The cultural and economic and the spiritual loss to this city for having those statues up that have run people out of the city", Landrieu claimed.

The MTC is a volunteer-run monument preservation organization that was founded in New Orleans in 1989.

The city plans to have extra security around the Lee statue Friday and will cordon off a one-block radius around Lee Circle to cars in anticipation of protests.

The City Council approved Landrieu's proposal to remove the monuments in 2015. Lee's is the last to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote.

It is easily the most prominent of the statues: Lee standing, in uniform, arms crossed defiantly, looking toward the northern horizon from atop a roughly 60-foot-tall pedestal.

The removal of the statues follows a final decision on March 8, 2017 by the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana affirming the City's legal right to remove the statue.

Those three statues were taken down in pre-dawn hours without advance public notice, a precautionary measure after officials said threats were made against contractors and workers involved.

The equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard honors the military leader who died in New Orleans in 1893.

And where the monuments once stood, public art and an American flag are among the pieces that will replace them.

The city wants to finish the work during its tricentennial year in 2018.

Other reports by VgToday

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER