Charlottesville City Council votes to sell Robert E. Lee Statue

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The Charlottesville City Council has voted to sell the Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park.

Councilors voted three-two to list the monument as a 'request for bid,' or RFB.

The sale will also be advertised to places of historical importance, and councilors agreed this was the best option with the statue to avoid using a lot of taxpayer money.

Bundled with restrictions, Councilor Kristin Szakos' motion includes the sale of the statue will not be sold to someone who will promote any kind of hurtful ideology.

The buyer will also be responsible for paying for any damage caused to Lee Park or the statue while moving it.

The motion also stated if the council does not find the appropriate buyer, the statue could be donated.

Szakos said she does not look to make any kind of profit off of the statue, if any at all.

"I believe this is one time when justice triumphs historic preservation," said Szakos. "Just like would agree to tear down a historic home that is a danger to a neighborhood, I believe we should know allow for the removal of a statue whose message is offensive and negative to a principle our community holds dear."

The council also voted unanimously to have a contest to rename Lee Park.

The contest starts now and will run through mid-May.

It will be up to the Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation to pick the top five names.

Then, the department will then work with the Historic Resource Committee to determine the top three names to be presented to the council at its first meeting in June, according to the Charlottesville City Council.

This move comes at the center of the lawsuit against the city for voting to move the statue.

Councilor Kathy Galvin says if they move forward with this during the lawsuit, it will be the people who end up paying for all of this.

The matter regarding Jackson Park will be decided at a later meeting.

Mayor Mike Signer and Galvin dissented from the vote on the sale of the statue.

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