Statue of General Lee coming down in New Orleans on Friday


When Robert E. Lee is removed, it will be the fourth and final Confederate-era monument to be taken down by the city.

Supporters of the Take 'Em Down movement have said the monuments would more appropriately be displayed in a museum. Anticipating rising security risk, the mayor's office announced it would not notify the public about future statue removals ahead of time. The Robert E. Lee statue will be the only one remaining.

The P.G.T. Beauregard monument at the entrance to City Park was removed just after 3 a.m. Wednesday, though crews had been working to take the six-ton statue off its pedestal since 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The killer, Dylann Roof, was an avowed racist who brandished Confederate battle flags in photos, recharging the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racial bias or an honorable heritage.

The New Orleans City Council voted in 2015 to have the monuments taken down after declaring them a public nuisance. The statue was first put in place in 1884.

Workers at the Beauregard statue removal covered their faces and wore helmets, but the atmosphere appeared slightly more low-key than previously.

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Pierre McGraw, President of the Monumental Task Committee which sought to keep the monuments, called the mayor's actions an "insult" to all who donated money to build them and "honor the memory of their fallen family members".

"I've never looked at them as a source of pride", Blanchard said. The monument commemorating the Battle of Liberty Place was removed April 24, 2017. An inscription extolling white supremacy was added in 1932.

The monuments that pay homage to the Confederacy, made up of states which attempted to preserve slavery in the South and secede from the United States in the Civil War of 1861 to 1865, have been denounced by critics as an affront to the ideals of multi-racial tolerance and diversity in the majority-black Louisiana city.

Until Thursday night, city officials had refused to detail specifics of plans for the Lee monument's removal, as was the case for the previous three statues.