Confederate statue base, column removed by crane in Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (AP) A North Carolina city has taken away the base and column that supported a Confederate statue as it finishes up removal of the monument.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday, workers at a historic courthouse in Winston-Salem used a crane to hoist a square, ground-level piece of the base from a grassy area. It appeared to be the last piece of the base.

The removal began Tuesday morning when they took down the statue of an anonymous Confederate soldier and put it on a flatbed truck. They spent the rest of the day dismantling the tall column and base that supported the statue. In all, the monument had stood about 30 feet (9 meters) high.

The monument will eventually be placed in a cemetery.

Mayor Allen Joines said he didn't have an estimate of the cost of the city-funded removal.

Joines says the monument will be taken to a temporary storage location before it's placed in a cemetery.

The removal is rare in a state where such monuments are largely protected by law.

Winston-Salem argued it had more leeway than other North Carolina cities because the old courthouse property had passed into private hands. A 2015 law all but prohibits the permanent removal of Confederate statues from public land.