Posted on June 4, 2020

Virginia Gov. Northam to Order Removal of Robert E. Lee Statue in Richmond

Andrew O'Reilly, Fox News, June 3, 2020

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce Thursday that the state will remove an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue.

Northam, a Democrat, plans to have the statute moved off its massive pedestal and placed in storage while his administration seeks input on a new location, The Associated Press reported.

The move by Northam comes amid turmoil across the nation and around the world over the death of George Floyd. {snip}


The statue in Richmond — the former capital of the Confederacy — has become a frequent target of vandalism during the protests, with demonstrators chanting “tear it down” on Tuesday. The Lee monument was erected in 1890, decades after the end of the Civil War.

The Lee statue is one of five Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue in Richmond. It has been the target of vandalism during protests in recent days over Floyd’s death. The base of it was covered this week with graffiti, including messages that say “end police brutality” and “stop white supremacy.”

It was not immediately clear when the statue would be removed.

Also on Wednesday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced plans to remove the other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which include statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. Those statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue, which is on state property.

Stoney said he would introduce an ordinance July 1 to have the statues removed. That’s when a new law goes into effect, which was signed earlier this year by Northam, that undoes an existing state law protecting Confederate monuments and instead lets local governments decide their fate.