DALLAS (AP) – Crews have removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from a pedestal and carted it away from a Dallas park named for the Confederate general.
In an unannounced but expected move, a large crane was brought through the city by a police escort to Lee Park, where it lifted the large statue from its pedestal late Thursday afternoon.
City officials said in a statement that an art conservator monitored the proper handling of the statue, and police tactical officers with automatic rifles provided security.
The statue was lowered onto a flatbed trailer for transport to an abandoned naval air station owned by the city on its western outskirts. It’s expected to remain there until city officials decide the statue’s future.
The 14-foot-tall, 6-ton statue depicting Lee on horseback flanked by an anonymous Confederate soldier was erected in what was originally called Oak Lawn Park. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the statue in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial celebration.
The Dallas City Council voted Sept. 6 to remove the statue but was met with a series of delays, including a brief court stay obtained by a pro-Confederacy group and a collision last Sunday between a semitrailer and a crane assigned to remove the statue. The driver of the semitrailer was killed in the crash.