Workers ready to take down a statue of Robert E. Lee in New Orleans on Friday, a final of 4 Confederate-related monuments slated for removal.
Updated during 5 p.m. ET
Crowds collected behind barricades in New Orleans on Friday to watch as workers began a hours-long routine of stealing a soaring statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
It is a final of 4 Confederate-era monuments that New Orleans affianced to mislay amid a whirl of controversy. Lee’s is a many distinguished of a 4 — a 20-foot bronze statue atop a roughly 60-foot-tall mainstay in Lee Circle.
NOLA.com is broadcasting live video of a removal.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu began pulling for a monuments’ dismissal in 2015 after Dylann Roof massacred 9 black Charleston churchgoers. The New Orleans City Council authorized a pierce after that year.
On Apr 24, a relic to a lethal 1874 white supremacist overthrow was a initial to come down. A integrate of weeks later, a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was toppled. And on Wednesday, a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was removed.
But clearing out a monuments — that have loomed for some-more than 100 years — has been rarely controversial. Contractors have perceived genocide threats, and Landrieu told The Washington Post that scarcely each heavy-crane association in southern Louisiana was also threatened.
The initial 3 removals took place in a dim of night; workers wore slam jackets as protesters both for and opposite a routine picketed nearby. The statue of Lee — who surrendered a Confederate Army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in 1865, effectively finale a Civil War — is a initial to be taken down in a light of day.
In a debate on Friday, Landrieu pronounced a monuments were put adult in what he termed, “the cult of mislaid cause.”
“This cult had one idea and one idea only: by monuments and other means to rewrite history, to censor a truth, that is that a Confederacy was on a wrong side of humanity,” Landrieu said.
“So now is a time to come together to reanimate and to concentration on a incomparable task,” he added, “making this city a pleasing phenomenon of what is probable and what we as a people can become.”
As for what will occur to a statues, The Associated Press reports a city is soliciting proposals from nonprofit and supervision entities and has so distant gotten offers from several open and private institutions.
Certain conditions apply, however; a statues can't be displayed outdoor on open skill in New Orleans.
And where a monuments once stood, open art and an American dwindle are among a pieces that will reinstate them.