NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Virginia's second largest city has moved closer to relocating an 80-foot Confederate monument from its downtown to a cemetery.

Norfolk City Council approved a resolution Tuesday declaring its desire to move the monument as soon as state law allows it. The measure asks Virginia's attorney general to clarify what state law permits.

A 1998 Virginia law protects war monuments from removal by local governments. But some legal gray area surrounds it, with a local judge in Danville ruling recently that the law doesn't apply retroactively.

Norfolk's monument, known as "Johnny Reb" for its statue of a Confederate soldier, has stood at the site for 110 years. Mayor Kenny Alexander said moving it to a nearby confederate cemetery would put that graveyard on equal footing with one serving black Union soldiers