Zebulon Vance monument in Asheville, North carolina, dismantled by city


A towering monument to Zebulon Baird Vance, a former Confederate soldier who later became the governor of North Carolina, has been removed from a park in downtown Asheville after more than 120 years.

Demolition of the Zebulon Baird Vance Monument was completed over Memorial Day weekend, local media reported Monday, nearly a year since the murder of George Floyd reignited calls for its removal.

Crews had worked since mid-May to dismantle the 65-foot granite obelisk, eventually adding it to the growing list of Confederate monuments to come down following Floyd’s racially charged death.

Vance was born near Asheville in 1830. He was serving in the Confederate Army when North Carolina seceded from the U.S. in 1861 and was elected to his first term as governor the following year.

Construction of the Vance Monument began in 1897, roughly three years after he died at the age of 63, and it was formally dedicated a year later during a ceremony held on Confederate Memorial Day.

Floyd, a Black man, died last May while being restrained by a White officer with the Minneapolis Police Department in Minnesota, setting off a series of nationwide protests.

The Asheville City Council passed a resolution last June that created a task force to determine what to do with the Vance Monument. Its members ultimately voted to take it down.

A total of 168 Confederate symbols, including 94 monuments, were removed from public view in 2020, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported in February, all but one of them removed after Floyd’s death.

More recently, the board that oversees Stone Mountain Park in Georgia, the site of the world’s largest Confederate monument, voted last week to ditch some of its Confederate imagery.

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