Statue of General Lee coming down in New Orleans on Friday


The most recent removal happened early Wednesday morning, when the 102-year-old bronze statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was removed from the Bayou St. John entrance to City Park.

A statue of Lee was slated for removal Friday from atop a 60-foot-high pedestal where it was been since 1884.

Evidently, the members of this impromptu band weren't the only musicians watching as the Beauregard monument came down.

Earlier Tuesday, police put up barricades near the monument, CNN affiliate WGNO reported.

Landrieu drew blistering criticism from monument supporters and even some political allies.

The city has released its plans for what will replace the sites where four Confederate monuments once stood in New Orleans. Contractors in the removal process have been threatened, and the work stalled for months as statue supporters looked in vain to the courts to stop it.

The monument is the third of four monuments to the Confederacy scheduled to be removed from the city. The statues were erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the "Cult of the Lost Cause", a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy.

Monument workers covered their faces and wore bulletproof vests and helmets for safety while removing the first two memorials of The White Rebellion and Jefferson Davis.

Davis lived in New Orleans after the Civil War and died there in 1889. In 2004, the words "slave owner" were painted on the monument's base.

Many historians have considered Beauregard the first notable general of the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Instead moving as quickly as possible to remove them in the middle of the night.

The city plans to leave the column where Lee's statue stood intact and will mount public art in its place.

The removal of the Confederate monuments comes two years after Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an ordinance to relocate them.

Unveiled in 1911, the memorial to the Confederacy's only president was in the Mid-City neighborhood on a broad green space and was the second monument to be removed. The bill allows local governments to take down a memorial only if voters approve the action at "an election held for that objective". The proposal passed in a 65-31 vote and heads to the state's Senate.

City officials say the monuments don't "appropriately reflect the values of diversity and inclusion that make New Orleans strong today".

Those wanting to keep the monument argue in favor of their historical significance.