ATLANTA (AP) -- A massive mountainside carving outside of Atlanta is once again stirring controversy, as Georgia officials try to decide what, if anything, to do about the sculpture that memorializes three of the South's Civil War heroes but causes offense to blacks and others.
The Stone Mountain carving of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson is the largest high relief sculpture in the world.
Controversial since its 1970 unveiling, the sculpture has drawn renewed scrutiny since the fatal shooting of nine black worshippers at a church in South Carolina last month.
The white man charged in the slayings, Dylann Storm Roof, had posed with the Confederate battle flag in photos posted online before the attack. Authorities say he was motivated by racial hatred.
The Atlanta National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called this month for the carving's removal. Atlanta's city council urged Gov. Nathan Deal to study additions of famous Georgians such as Martin Luther King Jr.
That would require action from Georgia's General Assembly. Members don't return to the Capitol until January.
Change seems unlikely. Deal and state lawmakers from both parties have declined to say much on the subject.
"The idea that somehow you're going to erase history is ludicrous," Stan Deaton, a senior historian with the Georgia Historical Society said. "There are no monuments to the Third Reich, but I'm pretty sure there are books falling off the shelves about Hitler, WWII and Nazis."
State Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick, a 32-year-old black Democrat, said she doesn't want to take time away from other issues to debate the monument.
"I think we can find a way to not sugarcoat (Confederate history), tell what happened and be transparent about the good, the bad and the ugly," she said.