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20 May 2017, 12:06 | Gladys Abbott
Crowds gathered behind barricades in New Orleans on Friday to watch as workers began the hours-long process of removing a towering statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The battle of Liberty Place monument and statues of Jefferson Davis and P.G.T. Beauregard have already been removed.
Sculptor Alexander Doyle created the sculpture, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and slated for removal past year after the New Orleans City Council declared it and three other Confederate Era monuments a public nuisance.
Lee Monument, located in Lee Circle in New Orleans, is one of three remaining confederate statues slated to be removed in New Orleans Louisiana, U.S., April 24, 2017.
The city said those taking the statues can not display them outdoors on public property in New Orleans.
Associated Press reporters Kevin McGill and Rebecca Santana in New Orleans contributed to this report.
(CNN) - The city of New Orleans is set to remove its fourth and final Confederate-era monument.
The city plans to have extra security around the Lee statue Friday morning and will cordon off a one-block radius around Lee Circle to cars in anticipation of protests.
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The area that formerly housed the Jefferson Davis statue will soon feature an American flag, the city announced Thursday night.
At one point earlier in the morning, a fight almost broke out after someone snatched an American flag from a monument supporter and hid it in a vehicle. Dylann Roof, an avowed racist, shot and killed nine black parishioners at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
More than 700 Confederate monuments remain on public property across the nation, with the majority dedicated or built before 1950, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Efforts to remove Confederate statues are underway in other parts of the south, including in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a Confederate General Robert E. Lee statue is scheduled to be removed.
Those wanting to keep the monument argue in favor of their historical significance.
A legal dispute about the ownership of the land where the Beauregard statue was has been settled and the leaders of the Monumental Task Committee tell reporters they have exhausted all legal remedies to try to block the removal of this statue at City Park. It's been there since 1915.
Of the four monuments, Lee's was easily the most prominent, with the bronze statue alone being close to 20 feet (6 meters) tall. It was unveiled in 1884.
Activists with Take 'Em Down NOLA say they now plan to push the City Council to pass an ordinance stating the city should have no buildings, statues or street or school names that reflect negative values of racism and white supremacy.
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