RICHMOND, Va. – A towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond is about to come down this week.
The Confederate statue, which is the largest in the United States, will be removed on Wednesday, Sept. 8, following authorization from all three branches of government.
“Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy. We are a diverse, open, and welcoming city, and our symbols need to reflect this reality,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam initially announced plans to remove the statue in June 2020, only 10 days after George Floyd’s death sparked an outcry of protests against police brutality and racism on a national scale.
The plans were stalled for over a year due to two lawsuits filed by residents who opposed its removal. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling last week cleared the way for the statue to come down.
“This is an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a Commonwealth,” said Northam.
While the bronze statue of Lee on a horse will be removed and placed in a state-owned facility on its removal, the 40-foot granite pedestal it sits on will remain in its place until officials determine where it goes.
Officials say preparations for the removal will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday as crews install protected fencing along Monument Ave and Allen Street.