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City Council Could Face Legal Roadblocks Moving Lee Statue

Posted: Updated: Feb 18, 2017 11:05 PM
Statue of General Robert Edward Lee in Charlottesville's Lee Park (FILE) Statue of General Robert Edward Lee in Charlottesville's Lee Park (FILE)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Despite Charlottesville City Council's vote to move the Robert E. Lee statue, the city still must overcome a number of legal hurdles before that can happen.

Under Virginia state law, it is illegal to disturb or alter any memorial to a war veteran, including Confederate veterans. That includes moving it.

In a similar case in Loudon County, the locality decided it could not move a Confederate statue outside the county courthouse.

“If Charlottesville wanted to avoid any litigation risk, then asking the General Assembly for explicit alteration of that law to allow movement of the statue would be the safest place,” former U.S. attorney Tim Heaphy said.

Councilors Monday night said that is one option. They plan to write to the state attorney general for advice about how to proceed.

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