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Charlottesville discusses removal of statue of Sacagawea

October 1, 2020 GMT

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The Virginia city of Charlottesville plans to seek proposals to remove a statue commemorating the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The Daily Progress reported Wednesday that the statue depicts explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as well as Shoshone Tribe interpreter Sacagawea.

Concerns have been raised that the statue depicts Sacagawea in a crouching, subordinate position. Others claim she is tracking.

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The Charlottesville City Council discussed the statue at a work session on Wednesday. It directed staff to create a plan for the statue’s removal after consulting with Native Americans and some of Sacagawea’s descendants.

The discussion falls in the wake of years-long efforts to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the city.

Three years ago, hundreds of white supremacists gathered in part to protest the planned removal of the Lee statue. They clashed with counterprotesters during a day of violence in which a white supremacist rammed his car through the crowd of people, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

The Lee monument still stands as efforts to remove it remain tied up in court.

Confederate statues have drawn increasing attention amid nationwide protests against racial inequality and the death of Black men in police custody. Officials in several states have decided to remove the statues from places of prominence, and in some cases, protesters have torn down the statues themselves.