Workers finally removed the Ten Commandments monument from the Oklahoma capitol grounds late Monday night after the state Supreme Court ruled in June that the state must get rid of the monument.
The monument was removed late at night in order to limit disruptions to employees at the state capitol and to keep protesters from interfering with the removal process, according to the Associated Press. The capitol also erected barricades earlier on Monday to protect the monument before its removal.
The state paid a contractor $4,700 to remove the 2,400-pound granite tablet, Oklahoma Office of Management and Enterprise Services spokesman John Estus told the AP. Yet the state did not use taxpayer funds to pay the contractor, according to Oklahoma City station KFOR.
The state still technically owns the monument, but it is currently being stored at Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, a nearby think tank, according to the AP.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in June that the monument violated the state constitution because it supports a religion, and the court ordered that it be removed from the capitol grounds. The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission then approved its removal late last month.
The state legislature passed a bill in 2012 approving the placement of the monument at the capitol after it was donated to the state by Rep. Mike Ritze (R).