Plan to move Norfolk's Confederate Monument goes into motion

Posted at 2:09 PM, Jun 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 06:51:29-04

NORFOLK, Va. - After years of discussion, the plan to move the Confederate Monument on Main Street in downtown is moving forward.

The city council has signed off on a plan to hold a public hearing and vote on its relocation on July 7. Following that, the city will wait 30 more days to see if a museum or other group wants to submit a proposal to take it. The city is not obligated to accept any proposals. Afterwards, they can begin to move the monument, which at the earliest would be in early August. Their current plan would move it to Elmwood Cemetery.

"You all know the good news that the General Assembly unshackled us a little bit," City Attorney Bernie Pishko told city council members on Tuesday. The General Assembly passed a law that takes effect on July 1. It will allow local governments control over moving or removing war memorials like the Confederate Monument.

"It was a process to get it removed, so I'm just thankful that we're finally here," said City Council member Angelia Williams Graves.

The issue has played out in court and promoted debate in the city for years. While the monument has been a prominent part of downtown for more than a century, its days there appear to be numbered. "It is a part of history, but it's an ugly part of history," said Williams Graves. "It is a part of history that we should not be celebrating."

Related: Governor Ralph Northam signs bill allowing cities to remove Confederate monuments