WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A construction crew is preparing to take down a Confederate statue in a North Carolina city, a rare move in a state where such monuments are largely protected by law.

Two cranes were set up on either side of the statue in Winston-Salem and traffic is blocked on a main downtown thoroughfare Tuesday morning.

At one point, a worker on a cherry picker was raised up to the top of the statue and appeared to be looking at how to attach a chain or harness.

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

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