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Charlottesville City Council Votes to Sell Statue by Bid, Rename Lee Park

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Statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville's Lee Park (FILE IMAGE) Statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville's Lee Park (FILE IMAGE)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Charlottesville City Council voted to sell the Robert E. Lee statue and remove it from downtown Charlottesville Monday night.

It also voted unanimously to rename Lee Park. 

Council voted to move forward with selling the statue through a process called "request for bid." That means it will ask for bids from different educational institutions, museums or non-profits and then pick where it goes.

Councilor Bob Fenwick said there will not be any action taken immediately on that request for bid because the city is currently in the middle of a lawsuit with plaintiffs claiming it is against Virginia state code to move the statue at all.

The vote split exactly along the lines from the original vote to move the statue, with Fenwick, Kristen Szakos, and Wes Bellamy voting yes, and Mike Signer and Kathy Galvin dissenting.

“My hope was that a honest, robust, deep discussion of minority rights would bring us closer to that elusive goal of all men and women are created equal,” Fenwick said.

“That opinion is still where I am on this that to add rather than to subtract is where I, is the votes that I would make but I entirely respect my colleagues and the passion they brought to this,” Signer said.

Council will hold a contest for people in the city to submit name suggestions to the parks, and then the councilors will have the final call.

And while the moving of the statue must be delayed until that lawsuit is complete, the renaming of the park will be moving ahead, potentially in a matter of weeks.

Stay with NBC29 with the latest information in the coming days on how to enter that contest.

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