After a NOLA.com inquiry, a city representative said that the bench disappearance is only temporary. The eight iron seats were cut from their moorings in order to make room for a little-publicized welcoming ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday (April 21) that relates to New Orleans’ ongoing tricentennial celebration. Mayor Mitch Landrieu is expected to speak at the site in front of the Cabildo (which was once the city’s seat of government).
The benches, which are sometimes used by musicians as impromptu stages and sometimes by music lovers as they watch street performers, will be returned on Saturday, after the ceremony, according to the city spokesman.
And this monstrosity was necessary I suppose: