Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

New Orleans removing last of four statues linked to pro-slavery era

New Orleans removing last of four statues linked to pro-slavery era

Early Wednesday, a crowd of onlookers cheered as New Orleans removed a monument to General Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, a military hero of the slave-owning Confederate States of America.

The New Orleans Police Department has placed barricades at the site of the monument, which is located at Lee Circle.

"New Orleans' City Council approved the move past year, but officials were met with opposition from supporters who fought to keep the monuments up".

The issue gained momentum after the 2015 massacre of nine black parishioners in Charleston, South Carolina, by a self-described white supremacist who prosecutors said posed for photos with the Confederate battle flag.

"To me, they are a historic landmark in the city, like a placeholder that has survived countless hurricanes", said a man who only identified himself as George.

Stoney wants to add historical context to the monuments so visitors and residents get a better idea who the statues depict and what they stood for.

Workers at the Beauregard statue removal covered their faces and wore helmets, but the atmosphere appeared slightly more low-key than previously.

Landrieu has been criticized by activists with the pro-monument group Save Our Circle for funding the removal of public monuments with private donations that have never been officially disclosed.

Of the four monuments, Lee's was easily the most prominent, with the bronze statue alone being close to 20 feet tall. In 1932, the City added a plaque to the monument, which stated that the statue commemorated the "overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers...and the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state". The last one set to come down is of General Robert E. Lee.

The city will accept proposals from nonprofits and governments on what to do with three of the four Confederate monuments the city is taking down. The plan to take down high-profile post-Civil War monuments has sparked legal challenges and demonstrations, both in favor and against the monuments.

The city also announced Thursday night that the area that formerly housed the Jefferson Davis statue will be replaced by an American flag.

The first monument removed of David Beauregard was recently found in a maintenance yard next to trash.

The Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway, was erected in 1911 in honor of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.

Later Wednesday police say they arrested a father and son for allegedly spray-painting the statue's base with the words "Gen. Beauregard CSA".

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