Crowds have cheered as workers removed a Confederate statue from outside a Virginia courthouse 111 years after it was first erected.
The monument - which depicts an unnamed Confederate soldier and is titled 'At Ready'- was taken down from its foundations out front of the Albemarle County courthouse in Charlottesville on Saturday morning.
It was a momentous occasion for residents still reeling from the violent Unite The Right rally that took place in the city back in August 2017. The two-day demonstration, which featured Neo-Nazis brandishing tiki torches, ended in the death of a 32-year-old counter-protester.
'This is a magnificent moment,' local man Don Gathers, 61, told The Washington Post as he watched the statue come down.
'Much of the racial tension, strife and protest we're seeing across the country emanates from right here in Charlottesville. But now we're moving the needle in a positive way.'
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Crowds cheered as workers removed a Confederate statue from outside the Albemarle Courthouse in Charlottesville on Saturday
The statue of the unnamed soldier, which is titled 'At Ready', was erected back in 1909
City officials urged residents to stay home and watch a livestream of the removal on Facebook, but dozens still turned out to watch the statue be taken down
A local activist is seen speaking ahead of the statue's removal on Saturday morning
The Albemarle County board of supervisors voted to remove the monument last month. They subsequently agreed to spend $60,000 of taxypayer money on a local forklift crew to pull down the imposing monument.
An additional $3,600 of taxpayer money was also used to cover the cost of flatbed trucks, which will take the monument to its new home at the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.
The foundation preserves Civil War items and monuments for historical and educational purposes.
City officials live streamed the removal process on the County of Albemarle Facebook page in the hopes of keeping people away from the area amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Albemarle County board of supervisors voted to remove the monument last month. They subsequently agreed to splash $60,000 on a local forklift crew to pull down the imposing monument
The statue will be taken the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation to be