A controversial bronze statue of two Confederate soldiers removed from a southern Utah college campus two years ago has been returned to its creator.

Under a settlement announced this week, Dixie State University in St. George returned "The Rebels" statue to Leeds artist Jerry Anderson in exchange for Anderson's donation of other artwork for permanent display on campus.

The statue's fate had been in limbo since Dixie State officials removed it in December 2012 in an effort to "rebrand" the school.

Critics said it symbolized racism, but others said the name "Dixie" is a part of history that should remain.

Southern Utah was called "Dixie" by Mormon settlers who tried to turn the mild region into a cotton-growing mecca.

The statue depicts a Confederate soldier on horseback helping an injured comrade, with a Confederate flag in hand.