Virginia Confederate statues to be moved to Black History Museum
The statue of Robert E. Lee and other Confederate statutes in Richmond, Va., which were removed last year, will now be returned to the local Black History Museum.
The announcement was made last week by Ralph Northam (Governor, Virginia) and Levar Stoney (Mayor, Richmond). The decision is now pending approval by the city council. Once approved, the 21-foot-tall statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, along with its 40-foot pedestal, will be moved to the Black History Musuem. Eight other Confederate statues will also be moved to the museum and the Virginia Cultural Center.
The Robert E. Lee statue was first examined in the summer of 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. Mayor Stoney announced the removal of Confederate statues from public spaces in the city at the time. Governor Northam also announced the removal of the statue in June 2020, but the process was halted by the circuit court after a lawsuit was filed. The lawsuit cited an 1890 document where the state of Virginia promised to save the statue. However, last September, the state Supreme Court granted the governor the power to remove the statue. At the end of December, the statue was removed from its base. Below, a 1887 time capsule was discovered which contained artifacts from the 17and-19and century.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Stoney said: “Entrusting the future of these monuments and plinths to two of our most respected institutions is the right thing to do.Northam, while speaking to NPR, said: “Symbols matter, and for too long Virginia’s most important symbols have celebrated the tragic division of our country and the side that fought to keep the institution of slavery alive by any means possible. “