Day-long work to remove Lee statue finally ends

Day-long work to remove Lee statue finally ends

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - As work crews moved into their 11th hour in their effort to remove the 8,000-pound statue of Robert E. Lee, the monument finally came down without incident and to the cheers of a crowd of spectators.

Crowds were gathered around the site all day.

The removal of the monument puts an end to a weeks-long process of the physical work of removing four monuments across the city.

Earlier today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the displays represent a "sanitized" view of the Confederacy.

The Monumental Task Committee, which tried to preserve the monuments in their respective locations, issued the following statement:

"Mayor Landrieu and the City Council have stripped New Orleans of nationally recognized historic landmarks. Robert E. Lee stood atop New Orleans for 133 years as one of the most well respected men and military minds of American history until a politician with self-serving motives launched a toxic crusade to rewrite the city's history. The Lee Monument was erected without the use of tax payer money--the same cannot be said for its removal using city resources, city employees, and a shroud of secrecy that's more fitting to ISIS tactics than those of the United States of America. With the removal of four of our century-plus aged landmarks, at 299 years old, New Orleans now heads in to our Tricentennial more divided and less historic.

"The Monumental Task Committee has made several attempts to meet and discuss possible solutions with Mayor Landrieu's administration.  As recently as last month, the MTC reached out to the Mayor and did not even receive the courtesy of a reply.

"The Monumental Task Committee seriously questions the Mayor's fountain proposal for Lee Circle. The City has several fountain monuments that are in dilapidated condition. The Simon Bolivar, Loewenberg, and West End fountains are eye sores that no longer even function. Refurbishing any of these deplorable, city-owned sites to become Tricentennial Fountain is a much more cost effective and practical idea."

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.