Albemarle County Board of Supervisors votes to move Confederate monuments

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors votes to move Confederate monuments

Albemarle County, Va. (WVIR) - The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 Tuesday night to move the Confederate monument at Court Square - the ‘At Ready’ statue, cannons, and cannonballs - to Shenandoah Valley Battlefields in New Market.

The statue will be removed this weekend.

“I can’t imagine us figuring out a better place closer by for it to go,” Supervisor Liz Palmer said.

That place is a little more than an hour-long drive from Court Square. In its offer, the Foundation said it will re-dedicate the statue to all Virginia soldiers.

“It’s a good offer to take the statue, cannon, cannonballs to an appropriate venue, which is a battlefield, where monuments are shown in a contextual arena," Supervisor Bea LaPisto Kirtley said.

All supervisors were in favor of removal, but Supervisor Diantha McKeel asked about keeping it in storage temporarily.

“Maybe a pause in storing it would allow us to discuss at a higher level how we want to contextualize our Albemarle County history," McKeel said.

Supervisor Donna McKeel raised another question.

“This particular item has a connection to Albemarle County," she said, "so I think one of the questions is ‘Is there a place in Albemarle County where it would be appropriate, and if so where?’”

But LaPisto Kirtley says that plan is too costly.

“It may be a little bit, maybe a lot,” she said. "But we don’t know because we don’t know how long it’s going to be stored for.”

On the Shenandoah Valley Battlegrounds Foundation’s website, there is a policy saying it opposes any statue removal.

“Instead, we should learn from our flaws, recognize our progress, and acknowledge that still more progress must and will come,” the website reads.

Sending the ‘At Ready’ statue to the foundation is a move the board ultimately supported.

“We in Albemarle have a chance to take this decisive step and really forward the healing in our community,” Supervisor Ann Mallek said.

The removal of the statue and other items will be live-streamed by the county. This is because no public viewing is allowed due to safety concerns from both the construction and the COVID pandemic.

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