As monuments fall, Confederate carving has size on its side

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (AP) — As statues of figures from America’s slave-owning past come down across the nation, the largest Confederate monument ever crafted may outlast them all. Georgia’s Stone Mountain features supersized carvings of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson standing 90 feet tall. Stone Mountain’s sheer size makes changes difficult. Geologist Ben Bentkowski estimates it would cost more than $1 million to obliterate the carving with explosives. There’s also a legal obstacle. A 2001 Georgia law guarantees the preservation of the Stone Mountain monument. The monument, finished in 1972, has drawn millions of visitors to the state park outside Atlanta.