City of Fredericksburg removes 176-year-old slave auction block

A 176-year-old slave auction block has been removed from a Virginia city’s downtown.

The Free Lance-Star reports the weathered stone was pulled from the ground in Fredericksburg early Friday after the removal was delayed for months by lawsuits and the coronavirus pandemic.

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Virginia, Fredericksburg, Slave Auction Block. (Photo by Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Officials said the stone was sprayed with graffiti and chants of “move the block” had erupted during local demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

A local NAACP chapter called for the block's removal in 2017, and in February, a judge upheld the City Council's vote in favor of removal after two businesses sued to stop it.

The block was set to be relocated to the Fredericksburg Area Museum.