NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Monumental Task Committee, a non-profit group charged with the care of the city's monuments and statues, presented more than 31,000 signatures to City Council members in support of four Confederate statues that have been the center of controversy for months.
The four monuments, which feature Robert E. Lee, General PGT Beauregard, Jefferson Davis and a monument in honor of the Battle of Liberty Place, are part of a proposal to be removed because of the racial overtones connected to the people they honor.
The MTC, instead, is asking city leaders to consider their plans to preserve the monuments.
"New Orleans is known as America's most iconic city. It has earned that title by preserving its rich history, not by removing and destroying it," said MTC President Pierre McGraw.
The MTC thinks more can be done to keep the monuments as a reminder of the history connected to New Orleans and an educational opportunity.
"The MTC supports the installation of interpretative plaques to help us all gain a better understanding of the original context and the current context of the monuments," McGraw said.
The MTC also proposed adding four new monuments before 2017, including monuments honoring a former American president, a Revolutionary War figure, Chef Paul Prudhomme, and the civil rights freedom riders.
The council will hold an open committee meeting Thursday afternoon to allow the public to comment. Itwill hold a final vote to determine the fate of the four monuments next week.