Richmond’s Robert E. Lee Statue To Be Removed Wednesday

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The Robert E. Lee Statue in Richmond will come down Wednesday, Sept. 8. (WYDaily/Nancy Sheppard)

STATEWIDE — The 12-ton statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in the capital city will come down Wednesday, Sept. 8.

In a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia last Thursday, largest remaining Confederate statue in the U.S. will be removed.

Preparations to remove the 21-foot statue will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Crews will install protective fencing along Monument Avenue and Allen Street, and all vehicles and pedestrians will be cleared from the area at that time.

The protective fencing will remain until all items are cleared from the site.

Crews will remove the plaques from the base of the monument on Thursday, Sept. 9 and replace a time capsule that is believed to be located there.

According to the Joint Info Center, the 40‐foot granite pedestal will remain for now, as its final disposition will be determined following a re-imagining of Monument Avenue  spearheaded by the City of Richmond and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The statue will be placed in secure storage at a state-owned facility until a decision is made on its future placement.

“Virginia’s largest monument to the Confederate insurrection will come down this week,” Gov. Northam said in a statement Monday. “This is an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a Commonwealth.”

The statue, which was installed in 1890, has been a source of controversy, seen as a symbol of racial injustice and leading many to call for its removal.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced his plans for the statue’s removal back in June 2020, but due to legal challenges, the removal was delayed until last Thursday.

Limited public viewing opportunities will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be a designated public viewing section located on Monument Avenue to the east of the monument site.

The public can also view the statue’s removal through a livestream on the governor’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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