In 2017, the Charlottesville City Council in the US state of Virginia decided to remove a statue depicting Southern General Robert E Lee.

A citizens' proposal opposing the decision was submitted and extensive demonstrations were organized by white nationalists.

During a demonstration, a counter-protester was killed when a man drove a car in a crowd.

In 2019, the City Council's decision was overturned in court, which ruled that the Robert E Lee statue and another statue of General Stonewall Jackson were protected by state law, but now Virginia's Supreme Court has ruled that the statues are not protected by law.

Start shot for statue protests

The court writes in the decision that since the statues in question were erected before the law prohibiting cities from "disturbing" memorials that have already been erected came into force, the statues can be removed.

During the American Civil War, the southern states were in favor of preserving slavery, which has made statues of the southern war heroes of the south have been questioned in recent times.

Since Charlottesville's decision to remove Robert E Lee, people in countries around the world have both criticized and vandalized statues of both generals and colonial masters, and several of them have been moved or removed.