With Robert E. Lee's statue plucked Friday from its pedestal in Lee Circle, details are emerging about what will replace it and the other three Confederate monuments that have come down in New Orleans during the past few weeks.
First, the 68-foot column that Lee has been standing atop for the past 133 years is going to remain, according to Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration. Some type of water feature and a selection of public art will be added at Lee Circle. Plans also have been announced for the other sites that have lost monuments.
In the meantime, the Mayor's Office hopes to find a nonprofit or government agency willing to house the four removed monuments in some type of exhibit that would place them in historical context. But whoever takes the monuments will have to agree that they will not be displayed outdoors in Orleans Parish.
The statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis that was removed last week from its site at Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway will be replaced by an American flag, Landrieu's office said.
City Park officials will take the lead in determining what should replace the equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard that was removed earlier this week from a traffic circle at the main entrance to the park.
The most recent site of the monument to the so-called Battle of Liberty Place, a white supremacist uprising against the state's Reconstruction-era government, will be left vacant. That site, on Iberville Street behind the parking garage at Canal Place, is largely out of public sight. The marker had stood on Canal Street until it was moved in the 1990s.
It is not clear whether the administration will attempt to rename Jefferson Davis Parkway, Robert E. Lee Boulevard or Lee Circle, whose name technically refers only to the center of the St. Charles Avenue traffic circle and not to the street itself, though that land may also be renamed.
The city said it expects to seek proposals from nonprofits or government agencies interested in taking the monuments to Lee, Davis and the Battle of Liberty Place.
The Beauregard statue is not included in that list at this point because the city will be talking with City Park officials about the ownership of that statue and the land on which it stood for 102 years. In a court case earlier this month, city officials were dismissive of the idea that City Park owns the land or the statue, but more recently they have acknowledged some uncertainly on that point.
Those interested in taking the statues will be able to submit proposals for each of them individually or for the whole group, according to a city news release. But the proposals must "state how they will place the statues in context, both in terms of why they were first erected and why the city chose in 2015 to remove them."