Virginia to Take Down Robert E. Lee Statue on Wednesday

By Reuters
September 7, 2021 Updated: September 7, 2021

A statue of Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee that towers six stories over Richmond, Virginia, is coming down this week.

The Commonwealth of Virginia announced on Sunday it would remove the 12-ton bronze statue on Monument Avenue on Wednesday, stashing it in a secure state-owned storage site until a decision on its future is finalized.

The statue’s scheduled takedown in the capital city comes just days after the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Governor Ralph Northam could remove it because documents controlling its location were outdated.

Northam, a Democrat, had announced plans to remove the statue in June 2020, 10 days after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd.

Lawsuits seeking to block the removal were filed by nearby residents who said they had a property right to keep the statue in place and it should be left alone. The court disagreed, saying the documents that controlled the statue’s location were outdated and unenforceable.

The six-story tall statue sits on a 40-foot granite pedestal, which will remain in place as the community reimagines Monument Avenue, a tourist draw in the Confederacy’s former capital.

Robert E. Lee statue
The moon illuminates the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., on June. 5, 2020. (Steve Helber/AP Photo)