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City of Mobile temporarily removes Admiral Raphael Semmes statue from downtown

The City of Mobile has removed the statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes from downtown, however this appears to be a temporary action.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson tweeted that the statue was removed at his direction in the early morning hours of Friday. The base of the monument still remains.

“On June 4, 2020, I ordered that the statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes be moved from its location at the intersection of Government and Royal streets in downtown Mobile,” the mayor said. “The task was completed this morning, June 5. The statue has been placed in a secure location.”

“To be clear: This decision is not about Raphael Semmes, it is not about a monument and it is not an attempt to rewrite history,” he continued.

“Moving this statue will not change the past. It is about removing a potential distraction so we may focus clearly on the future of our city. That conversation, and the mission to create One Mobile, continues today,” Stimpson concluded.

Per WKRG, City of Mobile spokesperson George Talbot clarified that the removal of the statue is temporary. Next steps are to be announced at a later date.

This comes after the statue was defaced earlier this week. The City promptly cleaned the statue after that incident.

Semmes commanded the CSS Alabama in the Confederate Navy. He died in Mobile in 1877.

Originally dedicated in 1900, the statue of Semmes is covered by the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act. The City could potentially face a $25,000 fine for removing the statue.

Semmes is a member of the Alabama Hall of Fame. The City of Semmes in western Mobile County was named after him, as was The Admiral Hotel (a Curio by Hilton property) in downtown Mobile.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn