The Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee is lifted from its pedestal in Lee Circle in New Orleans Friday, May 19, 2017. 

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

After more than 9 hours of waiting, it finally happened.

New Orleans city workers were finally able to pry the statue of Robert E. Lee from its pedestal in Lee Circle at 6:03 p.m. Friday, marking an end to Mayor Mitch Landrieu's pursuit to remove four of the city's historical monuts with Confederate ties.

Advocate photographer Matthew Hinton captured the moment the statue was popped off its pedestal.

Can't see the video below, click here.


Rumors of the removal boiled over Thursday night with protesters flocking to Lee Circle before the city of New Orleans announced the removal of the final statue would take place at 9 a.m. Friday. Crews were on scene as early as 6:30 a.m. to prepare for the statue's removal.

Mayor Landrieu spoke to a packed house at Gallier Hall around 3 p.m. as the statue was still being prepped for removal to reiterate his mission statement of righting a historic wrong he and others in New Orleans believed the statues represented.

"The Civil War is over; the Confederacy lost and we are better for it," Landrieu said during his speech.