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NOLA to Complete Take Down of Confederate Monuments

Before the day is out, all traces of the controversial Confederate monuments will be removed from the city's landscape, Mayor Mitch Landrieu's team promised in a statement. In an announcement made on Thursday (5.18) night, the City of New Orleans also outlined the future plans for the four statues in question. 


Between 9AM and 5PM today (5.19), the Robert E. Lee statue will be dismantled from its location at Lee Circle. Since 4AM, NOPD officers have been on scene to patrol protesters and secure safety due to the number of street closures that the take down requires. The City of New Orleans acknolwedged citizens' rights to "assemble and exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful protest. We understand there are strong emotions surrounding this subject, and we ask that the public remain peaceful and respectful while demonstrating."


It will be the fourth and final take down in a series of four monuments that Mayor Mitch Landrieu has pledged to remove before he leaves office, following the dismantling of the Battle at Liberty Place monument late last month, the Jefferson Davis statue one week ago, and the P.G.T. Beauregard monument earlier this week. 


The monuments have been the source of controversy in New Orleans for months — leading to citywide defacements and vandalism, arrests of mayoral hopefuls, and public indictments against city departments and their leaders


The Robert E. Lee monument, for the remaining hours today is located prominently in Lee Circle, was erected in 1884 to commemorate the Confederate General for the Army of Northern Virginia. Though Lee had no notable connections to New Orleans, the statue has stood at the site formerly known as Tivoli Circle and has been at the heart of the monuments debates and protests. The monument recently was the meeting place of Take Em Down NOLA protesters and pro-monument activists on May 7th. 


The City noted the intention to leave the column that houses the Lee monument intact, with further plans to incorporate public art on the site. The location where the Jefferson Davis statue was installed will be replaced with an American flag, while the Battle of Liberty Place monument site will remain as is. The City Park Improvement Association is still determining what will replace the P.G.T. Beauregard monument at the entrance of City Park on Esplanade Ave. 


According to the City of New Orleans, the monuments will first be moved to storage, after which the City will attempt to place the statues in a museum or other facility.


Mayor Landrieu is expected to make a public statement this afternoon about the completion of the monuments' take down. 


Stay with NoDef for details. 

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