A Confederate statue at a former North Carolina courthouse is coming down, and the city of Winston-Salem is paying for its removal.
Mayor Allen Joines said the statue should leave “its location for public safety reasons,” the Winston-Salem Journal reports. City leaders have said the statue could bring violence and vandalism, according to WXII.
The statue is downtown and on the grounds of the old Forsyth County courthouse, and the property owner requested it be removed, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. The United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1905 put up the statue “as a memorial to the Civil War dead,” according to the newspaper.
That group has been in “legal wranglings” with the city about the monument, according to WXII.
“In January, a judge denied a request by the United Daughters of The Confederacy to prevent the removal of the Winston-Salem statue,” the Associated Press reported.
The statue is going to a “secure location” before the city pays to move it to another site, according to WXII and WFMY.
“Joines said Salem Cemetery, the privately-owned cemetery near Old Salem where the statue will be moved to, has 36 Confederate graves and is a suitable location for it,” the Winston-Salem Journal report.
Confederate monuments have been removed from the old Durham County courthouse and UNC-Chapel Hill, The News & Observer previously reported.
“Critics argue many Confederate statues were built decades after the Civil War to promote white supremacy,” the Associated Press reports. “Supporters counter that the monuments are simply memorials to ancestors who fought and died protecting their homes.”