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Charlottesville removes statue shrouds following Tuesday hearing

Charlottesville removes statue shrouds following Tuesday hearing

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The tarps over Charlottesville’s statues of Confederate generals that went up and down for nearly seven months are now down for good.

The black plastic shrouds that have covered the statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson since August were officially removed by city employees early Wednesday morning.

The disrobing followed a ruling Tuesday by Charlottesville Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore that the tarps, which were placed as a temporary gesture of mourning, violated a state law protecting war memorials.

Moore questioned whether the tarps were truly temporary, noting that no date was set for their removal.

Statue supporters have taken down the tarps numerous times since they were put up, most recently uncovering the Lee statue early Tuesday morning.

Under Moore’s ruling, the city would have had 15 days from the date the order was signed to remove the coverings, but chose to uncover the statues Wednesday morning.

The city ordered that the statues be covered after a contentious City Council meeting that followed the Aug. 12 Unite the Right rally, which attracted various white supremacist and Nazi organizations as well as hundreds of counterprotesters.

Counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32, of Charlottesville was killed after the rally when a car rammed a crowd of protesters marching down Water Street.

Two Virginia State Police helicopter pilots died when their aircraft, which had been monitoring the event, crashed in Albemarle County.

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