There’s only one Confederate monument remaining – the Robert E. Lee statue that towers over Lee Circle. It caps a almost two-year-long process that has been railed against by those who feel the monuments are a part of Southern heritage and honor the dead.
Some said regardless of what the statue represents, it’s a work of art.
While Roof’s actions spurred a debate in many parts of the South about whether it was appropriate to fly the Confederate battle emblem and many places have taken it down the reaction in New Orleans seemed to go even further, knocking away at even weightier, heavier parts of history.
The Lee statue, erected in 1884 in honor of the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, is arguably the most prominent of the four because of its location at Lee Circle, a major traffic hub at the edge of the Lower Garden District and the Central Business District.
Michael Kimball, 57, and Christopher Kimball, 31, a father and son from Norco in St. Charles Parish, were booked on counts of criminal damage to a historic landmark or building by defacing with graffiti, police said. The statue, which stood for 106 years, had been atop a roughly 12-foot column and depicted Davis with his right arm outstretched with palm turned upward.
Lee’s removal was planned during the day, and announced in advance.
The city had kept quiet about the timing of the earlier ones, citing what it said were threats that some had made toward contractors who would do the work. Landrieu said the change was out of safety concerns because the statue was close to electrical wires and New Orleans’ famous streetcar lines. Speaking of the Confederate past, he said: “It’s my history, but it’s not my heritage”.
Workers in New Orleans took down a Confederate monument to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard early today as onlookers watched from lawn chairs, while defiant statue supporters waved Confederate battle flags and opponents celebrated. It commemorated what came to be known as the Battle of Liberty Place, in 1874 – a rebellion by whites who battled a biracial Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.
On Tuesday, News 25 spoke with Beauvoir Executive Director Thomas Payne who said he’s pushing for the monuments taken down in New Orleans to be kept at the Beauvoir and not in storage. Protesters for and against the removal were in attendance Tuesday night, some waving American flags some waving Confederate flags, as happened when the Davis statue was removed.
Certain conditions apply, however; the statues can not be displayed outdoors on public property in New Orleans.
The city wants to finish the work during its tricentennial year in 2018.