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Another New Tarp Placed Over Lee Statue in Emancipation Park

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A tarp is once again covering the Robert E. Lee statue in downtown Charlottesville.

City crews were back out in Emancipation Park Monday, August 28, to put a new tarp over the statue of the Confederate general.

It appears the last tarp was removed sometime between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Sunday, August 27.

Crews initially placed a tarp over the statue on Wednesday, August 23. Hours later, the tape securing it was slashed by John Miska.

The tarp was also shredded early Friday, August 25, before its replacement was completely removed early Sunday.

Miska said there should have been a "referendum" on whether to cover the statues. He also said that he was not involved with Friday's vandalism.

The Charlottesville City Council unanimously voted on Monday, August 21, to have both the Lee and Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson statues covered. According to City Council, the tarps represent Charlottesville's mourning over the loss of Heather Heyer and Virginia State Police Lieutenant Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. All three died on Saturday, August 12.

Also during Monday's meeting, councilor Kristen Szakos moved to request action from the Board of Architectural Review to remove both statues, since the issue falls under city design jurisdiction. All of the other councilors were in favor of that motion as well.

So far, the tarp over the Jackson statue in Justice Park has not been vandalized.

Councilors had voted 3-2 back in February to have the Lee statue removed from the public park. An ongoing lawsuit against Charlottesville is arguing that City Council acted beyond its authority with that vote, and violated state code prohibiting the removal of monuments or memorials to war veterans.

The lawsuit is expected to be taken up again in Charlottesville Circuit Court in the coming weeks.

The Charlottesville Police Department has said that it is looking into these incidents at Emancipation Park.