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The controversial statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia was removed Saturday, roughly four years after the 2017 “Unite the Right” white nationalist rally that ended in the death of a counter-protester and brought national attention to the statue.
The removal of the statue took about a day, as a crew prepared its removal Friday and was successful in lifting it off its base on Saturday.
Several people attended the statue’s removal as well with a few cheers and some applause heard in the background of videos posted on Twitter. A statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was also removed, the Associated Press reports.
Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker said that taking down the statue is helping both the city and the country move forward in dealing with its racist past.
“Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain,” Walker said.
There was reportedly no visible protest at the removal, despite one man heckling the mayor.
“I think that we’re finally ready to be a community that doesn’t telegraph through our public art that we are pretty fine with white supremacy,” said former Charlottesville City Council member Kristin Szakos.