BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A 93-year-old Confederate monument that used to be displayed outside the Manatee County Courthouse broke into three pieces when it was being moved early Thursday morning.
A county official said the 22-foot, 8.5-ton granite monument broke from its pedestal and then split during the move. It is now in three pieces at an undisclosed, but “secure” location. The county official said it will be an easy fix.
“After carefully securing the spire with lifting straps at 3:30 a.m., a crane slowly applied pressure to tighten the straps. As pressure was applied, it became evident that the spire was not completely attached to the base of the monument. The spire shifted in the straps and quickly fell to the ground and broke in two pieces.”
Manatee County Commissioners will hold a public comment session to determine where to place the monument after it is fixed.
The only thing that remained outside the county courthouse is a slab that the pedestal was placed on.
Manatee County officials previously said there were enough funds to go ahead and move the monument. They said it was going to cost $12,000.
It didn’t take long for the war memorial to be moved. Controversy over the structure had brewed for days. It came to a head with a heated protest on Monday, then through more debate Tuesday with commissioners ultimately voting 4-3 to say goodbye.
The granite obelisk was built to commemorate Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and the “Memory of our Confederate Soldiers.” It was dedicated on June 22, 1924 on the Manatee County Courthouse grounds.