A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee has been vandalized in Virginia.

According to media reports, police received a report early Tuesday that the words "Black Lives Matter" had been painted on the base of the statue, which depicts Lee on horseback. A city crew had removed the painted words by noon.

The Confederate battle flag and other symbols of the confederacy have been the focus of debate since the June 17 massacre at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina. The accused gunman had posed in photographs with the Confederate battle flag.

Last week, vandals painted the same sentiment found on the Charlottesville statute on a monument in Richmond dedicated to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.