Fate of statue remains in limbo

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The fate of Farmville’s Confederate soldier statue remains in question as the Town Council continues to wait on an opinion from the office of the Virginia Attorney General.

The town has been waiting for an opinion concerning the statue since August. The question concerns the process the town should take with the statue considering it was removed by a vote from the council for public safety reasons in June. That was before legislation went into effect July 1 providing a process for town councils to determine what to do with Confederate statues in their jurisdictions.

Farmville Town Attorney Gary Elder said at the Thursday, Nov. 13 Town Council meeting he received a letter acknowledging the request for an opinion a couple months ago but said he has not heard anything since then.

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“I don’t know what the turnaround time is. That’s just where we are. We are in limbo,” he said. “As soon as I know something, you all will know it.”

The opinion is needed for the council to take action on plans for the future of the statue. A public hearing on the issue was held in August. According to the law, the town had to wait until 60 days after the public hearing to take action. That 60-day window elapsed in October. The board is waiting on the advice of the attorney general’s office before proceeding with a decision concerning any future plans for the monument.

The bronze statue of the Confederate soldier has remained in storage since its removal by crane Thursday, June 18.

The Farmville statue was one of 25 Confederate statues removed throughout Virginia following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.