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Richmond is open to ideas for future of Confederate statues

FILE - This June 27, 2017, file photo, shows a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Vestiges of the Civil War and Jim Crow segregation are coming down across the Old Confederacy as part of a national reckoning on race and white supremacy. A diversifying Democratic Party hopes the changes in symbols are part of a more fundamental shift in a region that dominated by Republicans for a generation  and white conservative Democrats a century before that. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
FILE - This June 27, 2017, file photo, shows a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Vestiges of the Civil War and Jim Crow segregation are coming down across the Old Confederacy as part of a national reckoning on race and white supremacy. A diversifying Democratic Party hopes the changes in symbols are part of a more fundamental shift in a region that dominated by Republicans for a generation and white conservative Democrats a century before that. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

RICHMOND, Va. – The city of Richmond, Virginia, will be soliciting ideas for what to do with the Confederate monuments that have been taken down and placed in storage.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Monday that the City Council will allow museums, historical societies and others to submit proposals.

Lawrence Anderson, the council's chief of staff, said offers will be reviewed, and then a list of recommendations will be presented to the council.

"We really need to figure out what we can do with these statues," said Chris Hilbert, the council's vice president. "I think they should be sold at auction and placed on private property."

The statues include monuments to Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. They became the target of protesters following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Many have called the statues symbols of racism and white supremacy.

Demonstrators began tearing down the statues, including one depicting Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney then ordered crews to begin taking the statues down immediately, citing a threat to public safety as protests gripped the city.

The City Council voted on Monday to permanently remove the statues that are being held in storage.