Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Final Confederate monument to come down in New Orleans

Final Confederate monument to come down in New Orleans

The statue coming down today is the P.G.T. Beauregard equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue at the entrance to City Park. The statue came down about 3 a.m. before a sizable crowd.

Evidently, the members of this impromptu band weren't the only musicians watching as the Beauregard monument came down.

The statue of Gen. P G T Beauregard was lifted off its base shortly before 3am Wednesday, with workers wearing helmets and covering their faces.

Beauregard commanded the attack at Fort Sumter, S.C., that marked the outbreak of the Civil War.

The Liberty Monument, which honored the Crescent City White League, a group of whites who tried to overthrow a biracial post-Civil War government in New Orleans, was taken down last month.

The process was delayed for almost two years by a succession of lawsuits from historic preservation groups and monument supporters. It's the last of four monuments to Confederate-era figures the city is removing. "We as a nation are far enough from this that we ought to acknowledge that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of history".

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will speak Friday afternoon about the city's efforts to remove the four Confederate monuments. The city said due to "intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain" it wouldn't announce a timeline for Lee's removal. Some called it a historic moment.

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The statue of Robert E. Lee is New Orleans is scheduled to be dismantled on Friday. The issue gained momentum after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, by a self-described white supremacist. The website contained pictures of the killer posing with the Confederate battle flag in photos, recharging the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

New Orleans' removal of the monuments has prompted Louisiana lawmakers to work to enact a law that would make it harder for cities to take down Confederate monuments from public property.

There's only one Confederate monument remaining - the Robert E. Lee statue that towers over Lee Circle.

The 16-foot-tall bronze statue of Robert E. Lee has stood over New Orleans for 133 years. The Davis statue stood atop a roughly 12-foot column and depicted him with his right arm outstretched, towering over the street also named after him.

It towered over a traffic circle - Lee Circle - in an area between the office buildings of the city's business district and stately 19th-century mansions in the nearby Garden District.

This event is invitation only, and NOT open to the public.

Payne says they want to take them off of New Orleans' hands to end some of the controversy surrounding them.

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