Crews have removed a statue of an unnamed Confederate soldier that stood outside a courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, near the site of a white nationalist rally in 2017.
The statue is set to be relocated to a historic battlefield.
Forgoing an in-person ceremony because of the coronavirus pandemic, Albemarle County livestreamed the removal on Facebook Saturday as workers used saws and cranes to move the 900-pound statue.
Onlookers were seen on video standing behind barriers, sometimes cheering and watching as workers began to take down the life-size bronze likeness of a Confederate soldier holding a rifle flanked by cannons and cannonballs, which was erected in 1909.
The Board of Supervisors voted in August to remove the statue from outside the Albemarle County courthouse.
The monument will be given to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation, which plans to move it to a battlefield, rededicate it as “The Virginia Monument” and add context with a historical marker, county officials say.
The removal of Confederate statues in Virginia has been a hot-button issue for years.
The “At Ready” statue stood near the site of the 2017 Unite the Right rally, where the proposed removal of other Confederate statues in Charlottesville was a flashpoint for protesters. The demonstration turned deadly when an avowed white nationalist drove his car into the crowd of counterprotesters. One woman, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed.
At the time, towns or counties did not have the legal standing to remove such statues. In April, Gov. Ralph Northam changed the law and now localities are allowed to remove, relocate or recontextualize monuments.
Albemarle County is the first area to remove a Confederate statue under the new law, the Washington Post reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report