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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Donor offers to pay for removal of Confederate monuments

Donor offers to pay for removal of Confederate monuments

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An anonymous donor is offering to pay the $144,000 city officials say it could cost to remove four prominent Confederate monuments.

New Orleans joined a number of other Southern cities moving to eradicate Confederate and white supremacist symbols after the killings of nine worshippers at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City Council are looking at removing statues of Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis and a monument honoring a white militia attack on an integrated Reconstruction-era government in New Orleans.

In a letter to the City Council this week, the Landrieu administration said an anonymous donor was ready to pay the cost of taking down the monuments.

The City Council must vote on the statues' removal.

The subject of removing the monuments is contentious and has drawn large crowds at public meetings. Those in favor and against the removal have spoken passionately about the subject.

Andy Kopplin, the city's chief administrative officer, said in a letter to the council that the monuments were erected to "perpetuate a false history that literally puts the Confederacy on a pedestal."

The letter also said the city should present itself as a diverse city free of bias as it prepares to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the city's founding by the French in 2018.

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