The following is a statement from the Monumental Task Committee on the removal of the statue of P.G.T. Beauregard. The statement was issued shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday.
“Mitch Landrieu removed a monument to G.T. Beauregard, arguably the most historically significant Creole to ever live. This is difficult to comprehend for a number of reasons—the monument is on the National Register of Historic Places, its removal disgraces Louisiana people of Creole descent, and Beauregard was one of Louisiana's first civil rights leaders.
The memorial that was taken down was to a man who worked to advance race relations through the 1873 Louisiana Unification Movement—contrast that against Landrieu whose actions and comments are entirely intolerant and divisive. The practice of erecting monuments to honor the memory of beloved figures and leaders has been a tradition throughout the history of mankind. Mayor Landrieu's actions are an insult to New Orleanians who came before us—the veterans, widows, parents, children, and citizens—who donated their personal money to build and place these monuments where they stand to honor the memory of their fallen family members,” said Pierre McGraw, President of the Monumental Task Committee.
"The city's refusal to wait until the ownership of the Beauregard Monument could be determined by a court of law proves how non-transparent this process has been. How the city can get away with moving a 102-year-old monument, against the advice of the Lt. Governor and Attorney General, and without first proving ownership, defies any sort of logic."
"It took 22 years to raise the funds and build the Beauregard Monument, 1893-1915. Approximately 2,000 people contributed to the memorial. The Beauregard Monument Association's Secretary A. B. Booth said at the dedication in 1915, the Beauregard Monument "is not to stand as an advocate of war, but to honor duty and true patriotism and worth, such as has distinguished Gen. G. T. Beauregard, whose memory we honor."
The MTC is a volunteer-run monument preservation organization that was founded in New Orleans in 1989. Its mission, which began due to the abundance of historic monuments in New Orleans that had been neglected, has been to restore, repair and forever maintain all monuments located in the city. MTC has expanded its efforts into other areas in Louisiana.