What would it take to rid Stone Mountain of the Confederate sculpture?

A pro-Confederate rally at Stone Mountain. (John Amis FILE PHOTO 2015)

A pro-Confederate rally at Stone Mountain. (John Amis FILE PHOTO 2015)

As Confederate monuments go, Stone Mountain is as big as they come.

The three-acre sculpture of the Confederacy's leaders has been contentious since the day it was completed, 45 years ago. It was born in the early 1900s as many Confederate veterans were in their senior years and as Jim Crow laws took hold all over the South, disenfranchising millions of African Americans from the rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote.

With the nation debating whether there's a place for Confederate monuments in the communal, public space, eyes turn to the behemoth on Stone Mountain. Many have raised their voices to say it should stay, either as a teaching tool or as a historical marker.

But if there were a will — and a change in state law — how would that sculpture be removed from the mountain? Here's a hint: the same way the carving began 94 years ago. We asked geologists how it might be done.

Facebook discussion: The AJC is moderating a discussion of what should happen next with Confederate monuments in the South: should they be removed, left alone or augmented with text that provides more context about who or what the monument depicts? Like to join? Write to us at race@ajc.com, and we'll extend an invitation.