RALEIGH, NC (AP) - A group of academic historians, preservationists and business people are meeting for the first time to evaluate the request by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's administration to remove three Confederate monuments from North Carolina's old Capitol grounds.

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A study committee comprised of five members from the state Historical Commission convenes Monday. Their job is to report to the full commission by April after looking at what actions it can take.

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A Cooper administration official requested in September the monuments be relocated to the Bentonville battlefield. The submission came weeks after Cooper said it was time to remove the monuments, particularly following violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and a monument's toppling in Durham.

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Republican legislative leaders wrote to the Historical Commission discouraging their removal. A 2015 law sets protocol to do so.

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