Mayor Landrieu says ‘public process’ will determine what goes up at Confederate monument sites

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor Mitch Landrieu announced on Wednesday the future plans for the former Confederate monument sites and a “public process” to help determine how the locations will be redeveloped.

It’s been more than nine months since the city finished removing the four controversial Confederate monuments — the Battle of Liberty Place near the Aquarium, the Jefferson Davis monument at Canal and Jeff Davis, the P.G.T. Beauregard statue outside of City Park, and the Robert E. Lee monument at Lee Circle.

When the last of the four monuments came down in May 2017, Landrieu’s administration announced at the time that there would be a water feature at the Robert E. Lee site and an American flag at the Jefferson Davis monument.

It looks as if plans for a water feature are up in the air.

Before the end of the Landrieu administration, the city will perform beautification work at the site of the former Robert E. Lee statue and will leave the column that housed the statue intact, and will erect an American flag at the former site of the Jefferson Davis statue.

The City Park Improvement Association will remove the pedestal and perform beautification work at the site of the former P.G.T. Beauregard statue. The area that formerly housed the Battle of Liberty Place monument will remain as is.

The Ford Foundation is partnering with the Foundation for Louisiana to come up with a public process for determining how these sites will be redeveloped. Colloqate, a nonprofit design firm, along with other community partners, will organize, design, facilitate, implement, and document the process to ensure that New Orleans residents can help.

Landrieu said he will not solicit proposals on where the monuments that were removed should be permanently placed. For now, they are being housed by the city at undisclosed locations.

He said he will defer to incoming Mayor Latoya Cantrell and the next City Council to decide where the monuments will go.

“Over the last few years, momentum has gained across our nation to have a long overdue discussion on the appropriateness of confederate monuments in our communities, and New Orleans was at the forefront of this recent movement,” Landrieu said. “We must never forget that these monuments celebrate the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy,’ that they are a perversion of history – placed in prominent locations in our communities to paint a false narrative of our shared history. While it is hard for people to see that truth, the history is clear – the four statues we removed in New Orleans were erected to blind us from what really happened.”

Foundation for Louisiana will provide an update on the status of the process by the end of June 2018. Following June 2018, the Foundation and Colloqate will continue to provide updates on a monthly basis. For more details, click here or follow @papermonumentsnola on social media.

Watch part of Landrieu’s May 2017 speech about the monument removal below: