ATLANTA - A new statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was unveiled on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol on Monday morning.

The statue's unveiling comes more than three years after state lawmakers endorsed the project.

More than 1,000 people gathered for the dedication. Bernice King, the daughter of MLK, joined Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.

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"And this statue being revealed today, I believe provides a since of hope to a nation that is in turmoil once again," Bernice King said.

State officials had to negotiate with the King family for the rights for to the image of the civil rights giant's image for the statue.

In a statement, State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) and Georgia Legislative Black Caucus vice-chairman said the group was proud to "make the dream of the MLK statue on the grounds of the State Capitol a shining reality."

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For the past three years, Scott and others from the GLBC have worked with Gov. Nathan Deal, the Georgia General Assembly, the King family and others to plan for the new statue. Sculptor Martin Dawe was tapped to bring the vision to life.

"The King statue will inspire and give hope to generations to come,” Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus) said.

Press conference speakers include Reps. William Boddie, Bobby Scott and Lester Jackson. Smyre will also participate.

The statue will stand in stark contrast to many of the monuments already standing on the Capitol grounds. Artwork devoted to segregationists and white supremacists is plentiful, and has been thrust into public attention after renewed national debate over Confederate monuments.

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The new monument to the Civil Rights leader would stand at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at Capitol Avenue.