RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam issued the following statement after the Robert E. Lee Monument was officially removed.
The Lee statue was erected in 1890, a generation after the Civil War, during a time in which southern states were working to reinforce white supremacist systems and structures across their governments, services, and societies.
More than a year ago, the Northam Administration proposed removing the Lee Monument in Richmond. Court challenges prevented that action until last week, when the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the removal could move forward. The 12-ton statue was removed Wednesday in a process that took approximately one-hour. The statue will be placed in secure storage at a state facility until a permanent, appropriate location is chosen for its display. The 40-foot granite pedestal will remain for the time being. The pedestal’s final disposition will be determined following a community-driven effort to reimagine Monument Avenue, including the state-owned property surrounding the monument and the pedestal. The City of Richmond and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are spearheading the effort on behalf of the Commonwealth.
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