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Charlottesville Removing Lee, Jackson Statues Tomorrow

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2018, file photo, a No Trespassing sign is displayed in front of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Va. Charlottesville officials have voted unanimously to remove two statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from two downtown parks including one that was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017. News outlets report that the vote came late Monday, June 7, 2021, after more than 50 people spoke during a virtual meeting, most in favor of removal. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

The city of Charlottesville is preparing to remove two Confederate monuments this weekend. 

Far-right groups descended on the city in 2017 as "Unite the Right," a rally to protest the planned removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee from a city park. Four years later, that monument, as well as a statue of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, are coming down.  

Charlottesville City Council first considered removing the Lee statue in 2016, after a petition by then high school student Zyahna Bryant, but the plan was derailed by a lengthy legal battle and required changes to state law.  

It remains to be seen where the nearly 100-year-old statues will go. The city is offering them to interested museums or historical societies. 

The fate of another Confederate monument, the 60-foot-tall statue of Lee located on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue, is still unclear. The Virginia Supreme Court is weighing a challenge to the state’s planned removal.