New Orleans Prepares To Take Down Statue Of Gen. Robert E. Lee

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Masked city workers in New Orleans dismantled a massive horseback statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard early Wednesday as the city attempts to rid itself of public works that celebrate the memory of the Confederacy, officials said.

It took nearly 7 hours for workers to strap the statue of confederate general PGT Beauregard and his horse to a crane and lift it onto a flatbed truck.

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.

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

But doing away with them has met with staunch resistance from groups who argue the statues are nevertheless important symbols of the city's Southern heritage.

Three other Confederacy-related statues were removed at night.

Piece by piece, New Orleans' landscape is changing as city workers take down massive works of bronze and stone that once seemed immoveable in a region where some still cling to a Confederate legacy. Usually, in New Orleans, we're really sad when we see a family restaurant of 50 years go. The city said due to "intimidation, threats, and violence, serious safety concerns remain" it wouldn't announce a timeline for Lee's removal.

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In December 2015, Mayor Landrieu signed an ordinance calling for the removal and relocation of the four prominent Confederate monuments displayed publicly in the City of New Orleans, citing that these statues did not reflect the diversity, values or full history of the City and should be removed. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument.

Landrieu had proposed the removal of the monuments after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners at a SC church.

The four Confederate monuments in New Orleans were erected between 1884 and 1915, after Reconstruction and during the era of Jim Crow laws. An inscription extolling white supremacy was added in 1932. Three depict individuals deeply influential within the Confederacy, and the fourth honors an insurrection of mostly Confederate veterans who battled against the City's racially integrated police and state militia.

The removal of the Beauregard monument comes amid questions about who owns the monument and the land where it sits. It was commissioned by the Jefferson Davis Memorial Association. "New Orleans is one of the highest crime rate cities in the nation". Advocates of keeping the monuments in place - who Landrieu called "self-appointed defenders of history" - are "eerily silent about what amounts to historical malfeasance".

Many historians have considered Beauregard the first notable general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

(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. Kennedy says he loves his native South.

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