Virginia Beach covers up Confederate monument

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The City of Virginia Beach has covered up a Confederate monument as Hampton Roads begins to move forward with the removal of similar monuments across the region.

The monument, which is located outside Princess Anne County Courthouse, is now covered up with barriers surrounding it along with a “no trespassing” sign.

“This monument is pending relocation or dismantling,” a sign reads on the now-covered up monument.

The latest comes after Acting City Manager Tom Leahy sent a letter to City Council Friday saying he intends to start the process of covering, removing, relocating, or contextualizing the monument, as laid out by Virginia state law.

The process begins with a public hearing, which Leahy recommended the city schedule for July. The process to hold the public hearing and then determine what exactly to do with the monument requires a minimum of 60 days under law, Leahy said.

The process, however, will likely take longer, he added.

Leahy said the city doesn’t have authority to move or change the monument until the new state law goes into effect July 1 — that law allows localities to take action on monuments they own.

Leahy also wrote in the letter that he planned to ask the Historic Preservation Commission’s Princess Anne County Confederate Statue Roundtable to reconsider its 2019 recommendation to leave the monument where it is and add context and “balancing elements” covering the city’s African American heritage.

The roundtable’s recommendation would cost an estimated $322,400.

If City Council votes to cover, remove, relocate or contextualize the statue, it must first be offered for relocation or placement in a museum or with a historical society, government or military battlefield.

Should City Council decide to relocate the monument, the city is already exploring potential sites where it could go. It currently sits at the northeast corner of the municipal complex.

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