Virginia Removes Pedestal Where Statue of Robert E. Lee Stood, Transfers Land to the City of Richmond

confederate-statue-robert-e-lee
Image:Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has come to terms with the city of Richmond to remove the 40-foot granite pedestal that supported the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and to transfer ownership of the state-owned land to the city of Richmond, the Washington Post reports.

Northam’s administration announced the agreement on Sunday after negotiations with the city and the deal goes into effect before Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is sworn in on January 15.

The Lee circle was the only public property on Richmond’s Monument Avenue that was owned by the state. Alena Yarmosky, a spokeswoman for Northam said the pedestal will be placed in storage by the state until a new location is agreed upon.

“Obviously the pedestal means a lot to a lot of people,” Yarmosky said. “The commonwealth is going to work with different folks—likely historians, the Department of Historic Resources —to figure out where it’s going to be put.”

The city of Richmond issued a statement saying that it will accept the deed once the pedestal is taken down.

“The future of the circle, like that of all Monument Avenue, will be determined through a thoughtful and community-rooted planning process,” the city said in a statement through Mayor Levar Stoney’s office.

Last year, the site where Lee’s statue once stood was a hotbed protest against police killings of unarmed Black citizens, namely George Floyd and Conderaferte statues and symbols that still stand throughout the South.

Earlier this year, a small group of local residents sued to block the removal of the statue and took the case all the way up to the Supreme Court of Virginia.  In September, the Court ruled in Northam’s favor. The statue was taken down this past September.

Yarmosky said the dismantling of the mammoth structure was scheduled to begin Monday and be completed by the end of the month. 

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Newsletter

Sign up for the EBONY Newsletter

When you sign up for the EBONY newsletter, you’ll be the first to know about all the latest news and updates that are important to you. Gain access to exclusive interviews, videos, special events, and product giveaways delivered right to your inbox!

By subscribing, you agree to share your email address with EBONY to receive our weekly emails, events, and other updates. Please see our privacy policy for more information.