Confederate Monument No. 3 Down, but 4th Won't Be So Easy

  • Confederate Monument No. 3 Down, but 4th Won't Be So Easy

Confederate Monument No. 3 Down, but 4th Won't Be So Easy

Though public scrutiny of such memorials has intensified since white supremacist Dylann Roof's June 2015 massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., the act of removing them is fraught with logistical, legal and ideological hurdles.

In contrast, the city announced the removal of the fourth statue, of Lee, in advance, with Mayor Mitch Landrieu planning an afternoon address at a nearby historic building.

In a statement on Thursday, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the condemned statues "were erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the "Cult of the Lost Cause", a movement recognised across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy".

"We will no longer allow the Confederacy to literally be put on a pedestal in the heart of our city", Landrieu said last month after the first statue came down.

Since May 11, crews have removed monuments to Jefferson Davis, president of the pro-slavery Confederacy and P.G.T. Beauregard, a Confederate general.

The city had kept quiet about the timing of the earlier ones, citing what it said were threats that some had made toward contractors who would do the work. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. The city of New Orleans plans to take down the confederate statue on Friday, May 18, 2017, completing the southern city's removal of four Confederate-related statues that some called divisive.

Landrieu said Friday that the monuments represent a "sanitized" view of the Confederacy.

(AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld). New Orleans police keep watch over pro-monument protesters and anti-monument protesters Tuesday, May 16, 2017, as the Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard is prepared for removal from the entrance to City Park in New Orlean.

Built in the center of a traffic circle once known as Tivoli Circle, the Lee statue was unveiled to a crowd The Daily Picayune estimated to number 15,000. But Al Kennedy, also white and a former New Orleans school board member, supported the removal.

Revisionist historians can take The South out of New Orleans, but they can't take New Orleans out of The South. The removal of the statue comes after the city ha.

Lee, his arms crossed and dressed in his Confederate general uniform, is said to face the north, so as to keep his eyes on the enemy.

Apparently there is a staircase that winds its way up the pedestal to where Lee stands, according to a schematic released Friday morning (May 19) by the city.

The statue of Lee, who commanded Confederate armies against the Union in the Civil War, was the most prominent of the four statues, his bronze figure standing almost 20 feet (6 meters) tall in uniform, arms crossed defiantly, gazing northward.

The original inscription on the Battle of Liberty Place monument celebrated "white supremacy in the south", but was eventually replaced with "Americans on both sides" in 1993.

A racially mixed group held signs supporting removal. Lee's is the last to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote. Landrieu wanted the monuments gone, concluding that they represented a racist legacy any forward-looking city should abhor.

There was also an incident where someone in a vehicle took a flag from a monument supporter. The city wants some government or nonprofit institution to take the monuments off its hands. But he insisted the statues must go.

The selection process would require public bids, only nonprofits and governmental entities can bid on the statues, they must be displayed in historical context and the statues cannot be displayed outdoors on public property in Orleans Parish.

The platforms where the monuments once stood will be decorated with public art and American flags, city authorities say.