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Four Confederate Monuments to be Removed Later This Year

Terry Jones | 3/7/2017, 6:13 p.m.
Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement on the decision made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ...

Today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu issued the following statement on the decision made by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on the Confederate Monuments case:

“Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the City’s ability to control its property. This win today will allow us to begin to turn a page on our divisive past and chart the course for a more inclusive future. Moving the location of these monuments—from prominent public places in our City where they are revered to a place where they can be remembered—changes only their geography, not our history. Symbols matter and should reflect who we are as a people. These monuments do not now, nor have they ever reflected the history, the strength, the richness, the diversity or the soul of New Orleans.

“These monuments will be preserved until an appropriate place to display them is determined.

“Once removed, we will have the opportunity to join together and select new unifying symbols that truly reflect who we are today,” said Mayor Landrieu.

In February 2015, Mayor Landrieu signed an ordinance calling for the relocation of four Confederate monuments from prominent locations in New Orleans. The four monuments are: the Robert E. Lee Statue at Lee Circle, the Jefferson Davis Statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway, the P.G.T Beauregard Equestrian Statue on Esplanade at the entrance to City Park and the Battle of Liberty Place Monument at Iberville Street.

During a Special Meeting of the New Orleans City Council, Ordinance Calendar No. 31,082 was considered at the request of Councilmembers Jason Rogers Williams, Jared C. Brossett, James Austin Gray II and Nadine M. Ramsey. This ordinance declared that the four Confederate monuments are nuisances pursuant to Section 146-611 of the Code of the City of New Orleans and be removed from their prominent locations in New Orleans. The members of the City Council voted 6 to 1 in support of this ordinance.

It is anticipated that private dollars will be used to pay for the removal of these monuments. Bids for the removal will be released in the next day. The City will also now begin the legal process necessary to remove the Liberty Place monument, which is currently subject to a federal court order. Additional details will be announced as they become available.

Once removed, the monuments will be stored in a City-owned warehouse until further plans can be developed for a park or museum site where the monuments can be put in a fuller context.