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UPDATE: Confederate monument in Decatur defaced over the weekend

Vandals splashed what looked like a bucket’s worth of deep red paint on the Confederate monument in downtown Decatur over the weekend, but on Monday morning city workers cleaned most of the paint away.

Blue paint was also discovered on a German naval artillery cannon from World War I that is located on the other side of the old County Courthouse in Decatur Square. A second cannon was also splashed with green paint.

A city spokeswoman said the paint was discovered early Sunday morning. Public works employees used a solvent and power-washer to remove the paint Monday morning. 

Remnants of the red paint appeared to be splashed on three sides of the Confederate monument.

The 30-foot-tall obelisk is technically owned by DeKalb County, and the county commission has been trying for more than a year to move it from the square to a less prominent location. State law, however, limits the county’s options and no one has offered to display it elsewhere.

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The Confederate monument sits behind the old courthouse in Decatur Square. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

County officials on Monday said they had no knowledge that it had been defaced or cleaned off.

Last month, DeKalb commissioners approved the installation of a historical marker acknowledging lynchings that occurred in the county. That marker will be located outside the current County Courthouse, which is just yards away from where the Confederate monument is on display.

DeKalb County was the site of anti-fascist counterprotests on Saturday that focused in part on opposition to the Confederate carving on Stone Mountain. The surrounding park was closed to the public after police grew concerned that an unsanctioned white supremacist rally and left wing counter-protest would create unsafe conditions.

The white nationalists’ event was called off, but counterprotesters still marched in Stone Mountain Village.

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