By Michelle Watson and Nicole Chavez, CNN
The city of Richmond, Virginia, started removing its last standing Confederate monument on Monday.
City workers lifted the bronze statue depicting Gen. A.P. Hill, a Confederate general killed during the Third Battle of Petersburg in the American Civil War, from its base at the intersection of the city’s Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue.
“Over two years ago, Richmond was home to more confederate statues than any city in the United States. Collectively, we have closed that chapter. We now continue the work of being a more inclusive and welcoming place where ALL belong,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney tweeted on Monday about the statue.
Hill’s statue, which was erected on top of the general’s burial site, is the latest addition to a growing list of Confederate symbols that have been taken down across the country since George Floyd’s death in 2020 sparked a nationwide reckoning with police brutality and racism.
In 2020, a state law passed giving local governments in the Old Dominion the right to keep or remove Confederate monuments.
Richmond, which was once the capital of the Confederacy, has since removed several monuments including a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Protesters had toppled a monument of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.
The removal of Hill’s monument had been challenged in court but a ruling by Circuit Court Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. in October cleared the way for the city to proceed.
Indirect descendants of Hill, who disagreed with the city’s plan to move the statue to the Black History Museum, argued that the site was a cemetery and that they had the right to move the monument and the remains.
The judge ordered the city to relocate the statue to a museum and Hill’s remains to a local cemetery, according to a court order and opinion letter reviewed by CNN.
The fight to get Confederate monuments removed gained steam in recent years, with many civil rights activists saying the structures are racist and offensive because they honor Confederate leaders who promoted the enslavement of Black people.
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CNN’s Zoe Sottile contributed to this report.