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New Orleans removes General Robert E. Lee statue

3 days 23 hours 22 minutes ago May 19, 2017 May 19, 2017 Friday, May 19 2017 May 19, 2017 6:26 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: APNewsNow

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NEW ORLEANS - The city of New Orleans took down a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, completing the Southern city's removal of four Confederate-related statues that some called divisive.

Lee commanded Confederate armies against the United States in the Civil War and is a revered figure among supporters of the old South. The statue of Robert E. Lee was taken off of its pedestal late Friday afternoon and hoisted on to a flat bed truck.

City officials are trying to divorce New Orleans from symbols celebrating the Confederacy. Many Southern areas have done the same since nine black parishioners were fatally shot in 2015 by an avowed racist at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

New Orleans has already removed statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard. Crews also took down a monument memorializing a deadly white supremacist uprising in 1874.

According to a WWLTV report, New Orleans will start a bidding process to determing where the removed monuments are moved to. The P.G.T. Beauregard Statue will be excluded from the RFP process "due to leagal issues between the city of New Orleans and City Park."

WWLTV reports that New Orleans will put an American Flag at the former site of the Jefferson Davis memorial. The city is planning on leaving the pedestial where the Robert E. Lee statue stood and a "water feature" and public art will be installed.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says taking down a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will allow his city to "heal and become the city we always should have been."

Landrieu plan addressed city officials as crews began their attempts to remove the statue. He said the statues represent a "sanitized" view of the Confederacy. He added that they were erected years after the Civil War ended by people who wanted to show that white supremacy still held sway in the city. He also said in an interview with The Associated Press that "we don't want these statues in places of reverence; they need to be in places of remembrance."

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