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Dallas removes Robert E Lee statue from city park

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Media captionRobert E Lee statue removed from from park with same name

A statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee has been removed from a Dallas city park under police guard.

The decision to take down the six-tonne statue, which has stood in Lee Park since 1936, was made in the wake of recent violence in Charlottesville.

Dallas City Council had voted 13-1 to remove the monument on the grounds it was a symbol of injustice.

Earlier this month a court threw out a lawsuit from the Sons of Confederate Veterans to keep the statue in place.

The group had failed to prove the removal was a violation of free speech, the court said.

The council now needs to decide what to do with the statue showing General Lee - who commanded forces of the pro-slavery Confederacy in the US Civil War of 1861-65 - and an unnamed Confederate soldier.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Some argue removing the statues amounts to wiping out history

However, Michael Van Enter, who oversaw the removal and preservation of the statue, told CBS DFW that the statue would be preserved.

"It's going to be properly conserved until the task force decides what to do with it, where it's going to be re-commissioned, either in a museum or a graveyard, wherever it's going to go," he said.

The Dallas memorial is the latest in a string of statues to be removed in the wake of last month's violence in Charlottesville, sparked by the decision to remove another Robert E Lee statue.

People attending a far-right rally in defence of the statue, including white supremacists and neo-Nazis, clashed with counter-protesters.

One person was killed when a car rammed a crowd of people protesting against the far-right rally.

The removal of the statues, many of which were put up years after the Civil War had ended, has led to fierce debate, with some saying their removal was tantamount to erasing history.

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