Detailed plans in place for careful removal of Lee statue

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FILE – This July 10, 2020 file photo shows the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is the only Confederate monument left on on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. A judge on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020 will weigh whether to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to prevent Virginia’s Democratic governor from removing the statue of Lee on Monument Avenue. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — When the bronze equestrian statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee arrived in Richmond from Paris in 1890, it took 10,000 men, women and children to haul its pieces more than a mile to the site where the towering monument was assembled and erected.

Now, 130 years later, conservation experts who plan to relocate, yet preserve, the statue face the intricate logistics of disassembling and transporting it to a storage facility.

They also must ensure worker safety amid heated public debate about whether the statue is an important piece of Southern heritage or a symbol of white supremacy and racism.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans to remove the statue in June. But the plan has been halted at least temporarily by a lawsuit.

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