Richard Webster, NOLA, September 17, 2015
An anonymous donor has agreed to foot the bill for the removal of four Confederate-related statues, the city announced in a letter this week to the New Orleans City Council.
It will cost an estimated $126,000 to take down the statues of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis, as well as a monument to the Battle of Liberty Place. The donor agreed to pay the entire cost.
“These four statues stand in direct contradiction to the ideal of freedom enshrined in our Constitution and their presence in our city was meant to perpetuate a false history that literally puts the Confederacy on a pedestal,” Deputy Mayor Andy Kopplin said in the Sept. 14 letter. “True remembrance is required, not blind reverence.”
Kopplin’s letter was accompanied by similar messages from Police Chief Michael Harrison and George Patterson, director of Property Management for the city.
Police Chief Michael Harrison backed the removal of the Confederate symbols, saying in his own letter to the council that the statues have been “flashpoints for criminal activity and civil unrest” and that he can’t afford to “dedicate manpower to protecting inanimate statues.”
George Patterson, director of Property Management for the city, recommended that the statues be removed, citing the $4,000 his department has spent so far this year removing graffiti from three of the monuments.