ORLANDO, Fla. – The City of Orlando began work Tuesday to remove a Confederate statue at Lake Eola Park.
The statue, called Johnny Reb, has been the center of debate for years, after critics called the statue a symbol of slavery.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer announced a plan earlier this year to relocate the statue to Greenwood Cemetery, in a special section set aside for Confederate veterans.
"We have all of that history that is right here. What a better place for it," said Don Price, the sexton of Greenwood Cemetery.
"Greenwood is the holder of Orlando's history."— City of Orlando (@citybeautiful) June 20, 2017
Lake Eola Confederate statue to move to Greenwood Cemetery, home to four military sections. pic.twitter.com/yCCSV6Kya3
A city spokesperson told News 6 it will take about six weeks to complete the move of the 800-pound concrete statue and its marble base.
While the statue was being disassembled Tuesday morning, a time capsule was found in the top base. City officials said it is being safely stored and they do not know what is inside it.
[Watch a video of the capsule below]
"It was common. You know, when the masons and the masonic lodges, when they would put corner stones in buildings, and when they would do that, they would they would always put in a time capsule. And it was usually like a letter or a photograph or something about the area," Price said.
Price said they're going to take their time before they open the box.
"The air that we have now can really affect the documents. So, it will really have to be done in the right environment," Price said.
He said the capsule was light and made of metal. Time capsules found in the area in the past usually contain letters and photos, he said.
As for the statue, he said now that officials know that it's made of four panels, both concrete and marble, officials can begin the restoration process.
The statue will be placed in a secure location for about three weeks.