NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The city will soon begin the bidding process to remove Confederate-era monuments.
After months of legal wrangling, a federal appeals court ruled Monday that the city can remove the monuments. They include the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle, the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway, the P.G.T. Beauregard statue at the City Park entrance.
The Battle of Liberty Place monument at Iberville Street in not a confederate era monument but was included in a New Orleans City Council public nuisance declaration in 2015.
The Liberty Place Monument is currently subject to a federal court order, so the city will have to get its removal cleared through the courts.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu said removing the statues may be a difficult job, but he's confident the city can find a suitable contractor.
"So the bids are going to go out now to remove the statues. We'll get a full and honest assessment of exactly what it is going to cost," he said. "The next step is going to be to have a group of individuals who are respected by the community to think about what to put there, and how to really put a symbol there that really reflects what the totality of the history of the city of New Orleans is in celebration of our 300th birthday."
The group that filed suit against the city to preserve the monument says it's considering whether to ask for a rehearing with all 14 judges of the Fifth Circuit.
"We're more emboldened than ever to see this through with every resource we can throw at it. It would be a tremendous tragedy if we did nothing and allowed this to happen. One hundred percent of this problem is owned by Mitch Landrieu creating problems where there were none before," said Pierre McGraw with the Monumental Task Force.
The mayor said he's expecting the whole process of removing the monuments to take about 90 days. After that, they'll be stored in the city-owned warehouse.