Charlottesville to remove statue, rename Lee Park

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) — The Charlottesville City Council on Monday voted 3-2 to relocate a statue of Robert E. Lee from Lee Park and rename the park.

The contentious motion, which followed months of public discussion and mention of potential lawsuits, gives the city’s staff two months to recommend how to move the imposing equestrian monument.

Councilor and Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy said community members feel the statue is culturally offensive and a symbol of white supremacy. Councilor Bob Fenwick provided the swing vote after both praising Lee and saying his record of fighting to preserve slavery is undeniable.

Mayor Mike Singer and Councilor Kathy Galvin voted against the resolution, expressing discomfort with the potential cost of moving the statue and defending the city against legal challenges.