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Final Confederate monument to come down in New Orleans

Early Wednesday, the equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, who died in New Orleans in 1893, came down. When he learned the removal effort had begun late Tuesday, he headed to the scene with his wife and two daughters.

The monuments that pay homage to the Confederacy, made up of states which attempted to preserve slavery in the South and secede from the United States in the Civil War of 1861 to 1865, have been denounced by critics as an affront to the ideals of multi-racial tolerance and diversity in the majority-black Louisiana city.

The city of New Orleans is set to remove its fourth and final Confederate-era monument. He said the removal itself was a historic moment.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will give remarks Friday afternoon about the city's efforts to remove the four Confederate monuments. "We as a nation are far enough from this that we ought to acknowledge that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of history".

Friday's removal - in daylight, with the timing announced a day beforehand - contrasts with the first three, which happened in the dark of night or early morning with little notice.

Statues and flags honoring the Confederacy have been removed from public spaces across the United States since 2015, after a white supremacist murdered nine black parishioners at a SC church.

The city removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis last week; a statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard on Wednesday; and a monument memorializing a deadly 1874 white-supremacist uprising in April. The killer, Dylann Roof, was an avowed racist who brandished Confederate battle flags in photos.




But doing away with the monuments has met with staunch resistance from groups who argue that the statues are nevertheless important symbols of the city's Southern heritage.

The statues would be put in storage while the city looks for a suitable place to display them, the mayor has said.

The city plans to leave the column where Lee's statue stood intact and will mount public art in its place. Lee's is the last to be removed in accordance with a 2015 City Council vote.

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. 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.

The city has received offers from public and private institutions to take individual monuments, so it will solicit proposals on where they will go through an "open and transparent selection".

Amid security threats, contractors wearing masks and tactical vests removed the first monument at night last month: an obelisk commemorating the Battle of Liberty Place. The final resting place of Beauregard's statue will be considered separately because of legal issues.

The city said those taking the statues can not display them outdoors on public property in New Orleans.

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