Charlottesville City Council Unanimously Votes to Remove Confederate Statues from 2 City Parks

The Charlottesville City Council has agreed to remove two Confederate statues from two city parks. General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas Jackson's sculptures were put up for relocation to any historical entity interested.

After a meeting, the Charlottesville City Council has decided to transfer two Confederate bronze sculptures to entities interested in purchasing the statues provided they adhere to the terms of the acquisition.

On June 7, 2021, the Charlottesville City Council organized a public hearing on their decision to remove and relocate or cover the two bronze sculptures on the same date.

The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee stands in the center of the renamed Emancipation Park on August 22, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee stands in the center of the renamed Emancipation Park on August 22, 2017 | Photo: Getty Images

The statues in question include the bronze sculptures of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, located in a city park at West Market Street, and Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, located in a City park between East Jefferson and West High street.

The Supreme Court of Virginia will attend to arguments in legal challenges to Governor Ralph Northam's decision.

During the meeting, public opinion varied as people had different views and beliefs. The City spokesman, Basingstoke wheeler, stated that about 55 people participated before the council decided to vote. 

Philip Hamilton, a Republican running for the 57th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, shared his view. He noted that history should be preserved and not destroyed. 

The removal of the bronze sculptures to any entity interested in ownership will remain until the 30-day period the council has offered the Statues. Once the deadline reaches, the board will consider all offers before coming to a final consultation.

The council had first decided to remove the sculptures after a rally where a counterprotester was killed in a car accident. The resident filed a lawsuit, and a judge granted an injunction that prevented the removal of the statues.

The current council officials were not serving during the first vote. However, the new body decided to conduct a public hearing and have another vote before proceeding.

It was also reported that the Supreme Court of Virginia would attend to arguments in legal challenges to Governor Ralph Northam's decision to remove the 131-year-old statue.

The governor's decision to remove the statue was made public ten days after a Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd. This decision was met with approval and praise from activists who saw the figure as a symbol of white supremacy.

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