Crews Dismantle John C. Calhoun Statue in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 24: A worker uses a saw at the foot of the statue of John C. Calhoun atop the monument in his honor at Marion Square on June 24, 2020 in Charleston, South Carolina. Work crews began dismantling the monument in Tuesday evening. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty …
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Crews in Charleston, South Carolina, are in the process of removing a statue of former Vice President and Senator John C. Calhoun, who was an ardent proponent of slavery.

Charleston officials voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the statue, which stands high in downtown’s Marion Square. Crews began the process of dismantling the statue early Wednesday morning but “have run into unexpected delays,” as WCSC reported:

The latest delay, city spokesman Jack O’Toole said, involves a breakdown of equipment being used to cut the statue from its pedestal. Crews brought in diamond saw cutting blades when they encountered a bronze mounting bracket filled with concrete and some type of epoxy-like material that runs the length of the circular platform the statue stands on. The crews were making progress, O’Toole said, until they ran into a problem with the hydraulics in one of the lifts crews are using.

The problem is being repaired onsite so work can proceed, he said. In the meantime, crews have begun removing plaques about Calhoun mounted to the base of the monument.

“We have a sense of unity moving forward for racial conciliation and for unity in this city,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said following the decision. “God bless you all.”

The statue’s removal comes as protesters target monuments across the nation. What began as a widespread demand to remove Confederate monuments has escalated even further, resulting in the destruction of war memorials, statues of the founding fathers, and depictions of past presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.

In Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday protesters beheaded the statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg, an immigrant who died fighting for the Union. Photos show the body of the statue submerged in a lake:

They also upended the statue of “Forward” outside of the State Capitol, dragging it into the street:

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