Lee Statue covering removed over the weekend

Removal marks the third reported time the tarp has been vandalized since being installed

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Residents of Charlottesville can select from four potential names for Emancipation Park including Central Park, Library Park, Market Street Park and Swanson Legacy Park. The finalists for Justice Park are Court Square Park, Courthouse Park and Justice Park.

Hannah Mussi | Cavalier Daily

The covering over the statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park was removed overnight between Aug. 26 and 27 and taken from the park. This marks the third reported time the black tarp has been vandalized since city workers installed it Aug. 23. 

The covering over the statue of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in nearby Justice Park was not removed and remains in place. 

Charlottesville City Council voted Aug. 22 to cover the statues with black fabric during a raucous meeting that led to three arrests. The coverings come at a time when the city is mourning three deaths related to the “Unite the Right” rally, which drew numerous white nationalist groups to the city.  

Heather Heyer was killed when a car plowed through a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally in downtown Charlottesville. A Virginia State Police helicopter also crashed on Aug. 12, killing Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. The helicopter had been assisting law enforcement efforts in the city that day.  

Some residents have had mixed reactions to the city installing the coverings, with one man trying to cut it down it and others helping crews to secure it. The city discovered the Lee covering had been vandalized a second time on the morning of Aug. 25, and it was replaced.

The Charlottesville City Council voted earlier this year to remove the Lee statue from Emancipation Park, but an ongoing lawsuit and a judge’s injunction have prevented the city from carrying out their plans to remove the statue until the legal dispute is resolved. The case will be back in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Wednesday.

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