A Tuesday court ruling has cleared the way for Richmond, Virginia, to remove its last-standing Confederate statue.
The statue, standing at the intersection of the city’s Hermitage Road and Laburnum Avenue, depicts A.P. Hill, a Confederate general killed during the Third Battle of Petersburg in the American Civil War. The statue was erected on top of the general’s burial site.
Circuit Court Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. ruled for the city to relocate the statue to a museum and the general’s remains to a local cemetery, according to a court order and opinion letter reviewed by CNN.
The city argued that the statue constituted a war memorial and was therefore subject to removal under its policy of removing Confederate monuments. But 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 concluded that “the placement and housing of the monument are the City’s to determine.”
Scott Braxton Puryear, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told CNN that they had no comment regarding the ruling.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney celebrated the ruling in a statement shared with CNN.
“We’re gratified by Judge Cheek’s ruling. This is the last stand for the Lost Cause in our city,” said Stoney in the statement.
“We look forward to a successful conclusion of the legal process, which will allow us to relocate Hill’s remains, remove and transfer the statue to the Black History Museum and, importantly, improve traffic safety at the intersection of Hermitage and Laburnum.”
The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia told CNN that they had not received any official word on the statue and could not comment.