DALLAS - The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee will be taken down in Dallas’ Oak Lawn neighborhood -- but it won't happen Friday.
Crews preparing the statue for removal explained the amazing engineering from the 1930s is posing a few challenges and there is some work that needs to be done before it can safely be moved.
"We're not moving it today because we don't have the adequate tools and equipment to move it safely,” said conservator Michael van Enter. “We found that we have too much downward pressure to remove the end stones to be able to loosen the armature"
The best heavy equipment to move the statue had already been moved to Houston before the council vote to helping with the Harvey cleanup efforts. Another big part of the challenge is there are no original schematics from 1936.
"The welded construction in the 1930's, it’s a little unusual and it’s completely hidden with welding the mounting system,” van Enter said.
Some of the stone has to be safely removed to get to the internal mountings, which is delicate work as the every effort is being made no to damage the statue.
With the statue not going anywhere anytime soon, there are concerns about vandalism.
“I have no idea who the threats were from, but there has been calls,” van Enter said.
Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway has said the statue will be stored, not destroyed.
“At the end of the day it's about keeping the statues safe, we don't want to just tear it down and tear a hoof off or just move it to say it’s gone,” Caraway said. “We have a responsibility to make sure the proper equipment is there.”
Caraway grew up in a segregated Dallas, but said the statue should be removed with care. Even so, he says the Lee statue should be moved with care.
"It's a beautiful statue,” Caraway said. “The beauty alone brings the respect you must have for the statue -- like it or not."