A statute of the late Democrat Rep. John Lewis will be erected where a Confederate monument once stood in Georgia.
The 16-foot-tall monument of Rep. Lewis by Atlanta artist Basil Watson will be placed in Decatur Square within 18 months.
Rep. Lewis is considered a civil rights icon for his participation in the 1965 march in Selma, Alabama. He passed away in July 2020 after serving 17 terms in the House of Representatives.
The DeKalb County Confederate Monument was removed about a month before Rep. Lewis died, as Black Lives Matter rioters demanded the removal of offensive statues across the country.
The 30 foot obelisk was ordered to be removed by a judge as a “threat to public safety.”
The artist was selected by the DeKalb County Commemorative Task Force, which was formed to “provide a symbol of inclusivity, equality, and justice” to replace the Confederate monument that stood in the square for over 100 years.
“A monument that represented bigotry, division and hatred will be replaced, by a monument to a man who loved, who cherished this nation and brought all people of all colors together,” DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond said, according to a report from CNN.
Thurmond claimed that the decision was “one of the proudest moments” of his time as DeKalb County CEO.
“This project has been a labor of love for all of us who knew and loved Congressman Lewis. He served our district and the world with such honor and distinction,” Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett said in a press release.
“His statue will stand as a reminder to all who pass that once this great but humble man walked among us, and we are happy we elected him over and over to serve us and the world. He was truly the conscience of the Congress,” Garrett added.