Alabama mayor speaks on request for New Orleans confederate statues

In this Sept. 2, 2015 photo, a statue of P.G.T. Beauregard is seen at the entrance to City Park at Esplanade Ave. in New Orleans. Prominent Confederate monuments long taken for granted on the streets of this Deep South city may be on the verge of coming down and become new examples of a mood taking hold nationwide to erase racially charged symbolism from public view. Beginning the week of Dec. 7, 2015, the City Council will take up the issue of removing four monuments linked to Confederate history. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — An Alabama mayor says he wants to put the Confederate memorial statues the City of New Orleans recently removed in his city.

Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail made the request for New Orleans Mayor Kenneth Landrieu to donate the monuments in a letter.

The letter reads in part, “The symbols or Confederate monuments that are seen as offensive symbols of hate in New Orleans are seen in our city as highly regarded symbols of heritage and struggles of all people.”

CBS 42 News reached out to New Orleans Mayor Landrieu’s spokesman, who sent us a statement, saying the city had not yet responded to Nail but was working to do so. The letter went on to say the city would open a competitive proposal process, open to museums and other public spaces that want to acquire the monuments. The proposals would be assessed based on their plans to bring cultural and educational value, the statement said.

The proposals would be assessed based on their plans to bring cultural and educational value, the statement said.

Nail says he’s willing to take part in that process, depending on what monetary compensation the City of New Orleans requests.

“It’s really going to depend on what New Orleans says. We’re a small city. There’s just not millions of dollars laying here,” Nail said. “We’ll have to see what they’re wanting. If it’s not that much, I think we can raise it.”

Nail cited Veterans Park, off Hanceville’s Main Street, as the site for the monuments if they’re donated by city leadership in New Orleans. Right now, the park is home to a monument for veterans of American wars. We visited the park, asking visitors what they thought about Nail’s letter.

We visited the park, asking visitors what they thought about Nail’s letter.

“We need to keep our heritage. we don’t need to lose that. Our kids need to know that. Our younger generation needs to know that,” said Kevin Coleman, a Hanceville resident. “It’s almost like a lot of people want to wipe that out. It’s part of our country. A lot of lives were lost. We just going to forget about them?”

Other residents didn’t want to go on camera but told us they aren’t opposed to the statues here, as long as the city does not pay a lot of money for them.

On Tuesday, the City of Orlando removed a Confederate statue from a public park. Nail says if they’re willing to donate it to Hanceville, he’ll take that one, too.

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