Statue of General Lee coming down in New Orleans on Friday


The last of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans, Louisiana could soon come down.

Finally, the state is starting to play a productive role in the New Orleans monument mess. Anticipating rising security risk, the mayor's office announced it would not notify the public about future statue removals ahead of time. A path that leads to the Robert E. Lee monument has been cleared.

The city removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis last week; a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard on Wednesday; and a monument memorializing a deadly 1874 white-supremacist uprising in April.

"I think that would be a win-win for both the city of New Orleans being the donor of those statues here to us and certainly a win for us", he expressed concern.

Statues and flags honoring the Confederacy have been removed from public spaces across the United States since 2015, after a white supremacist murdered nine black parishioners at a SC church. The killer, Dylann Roof, was an avowed racist who brandished Confederate battle flags in photos, recharging the debate over whether Confederate emblems represent racism or an honorable heritage.

The removal of the Lee statue will mark the end of almost two years of fiery arguments over the four monuments, which Landrieu and other city officials have argued were erected to reassert white dominance in New Orleans during the Jim Crow era.

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Those removing the first two memorials generally wore bulletproof vests, helmets and face coverings to shield their identities as the work took place well after midnight to minimize attention. Black lawmakers derided the House vote as "divisive" and "offensive". The monument was built in 1996.

"It's important to us to let them know they "Hey!" But to some it was the most objectionable. An inscription extolling white supremacy was added in 1932. About 18 feet tall, it had a bronze likeness of Davis standing atop a tall stone pedestal.

Beauregard commanded the attack at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, at the outbreak of the Civil War.

The statue will be stored in a city warehouse until a permanent location can be determined, officials said.

The temporary no parking signs around Lee Circle remain. It was unveiled in 1884.