RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The mayor of Richmond, Virginia, says the city's towering Confederate monuments should not be taken down, but instead should be supplemented with historical context about why they were built.

Mayor Levar Stoney announced Thursday that a commission of historians, authors and community leaders will solicit public input and make suggestions for telling "the real story" of the monuments. He says they represent "a false narrative" meant to lionize the architects and defenders of slavery.

The mayor says the commission also will consider adding new monuments.

His announcement comes as many other cities across the South engage in bitter debates over symbols of the Confederacy.

Richmond served as the capital of the Confederacy and has one of the most dramatic displays of such statuary.