Confederate statue to be moved in Charlottesville, Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A life-size bronze statue of an unnamed Confederate soldier will be removed from outside a county courthouse in Virginia, one of numerous such monuments being relocated in the state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy.
The Daily Progress reported Thursday that the removal of the statue from outside the Albemarle County courthouse in the city of Charlottesville is scheduled for Sept. 12.
The Board of Supervisors had voted Aug. 6 to remove the figure, as well as two cannons and a pile of cannonballs. The removal will be livestreamed on the county’s Facebook page instead of allowing in-person observance because of the coronavirus pandemic. The county said it also will be airing interviews and lectures about the statue.
The monument will be taken to a storage facility. State law requires the Board of Supervisors to offer the statue to historical groups who may want it. The board plans to review statements of interest in a virtual meeting next week.
Confederate monuments have long been viewed by many as symbols of white supremacy. But they’ve 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.
In Charlottesville three years ago, hundreds of white supremacists gathered in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 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 in Charlottesville still stands as efforts to remove it remain tied up in court.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has been fighting in court to remove a prominent statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that stands on state-owned property along Monument Avenue in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy. Four other prominent statues of Confederate leaders were taken down from city property along the avenue this summer.