PHOTOS: Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia

Richmond
Racial Injustice Lee Statue

This Tuesday, June 2, 2020, photo shows a large group of protesters gathered around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue near downtown in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The last standing Confederate statue on Monument Avenue will come down after more than a year of legal battles.

General Robert E. Lee has stood on his pedestal since the bronze statue was erected in 1890. Now, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled in favor of the state clearing the way for its removal.

Calls to remove the monument to the Confederate hero intensified in 2020 following the death of George Floyd and protests for racial justice across the nation and at home. In June of last year, Gov. Ralph Northam asked the Virginia Department of General Services to remove the statue as soon as possible.

Two lawsuits aimed to keep the statue in place made their way to the Supreme Court of Virginia. Following today’s ruling on behalf of the state, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said on Twitter that the decision is a “big win for a more inclusive Commonwealth.”

PHOTOS OF THE ROBERT E. LEE MONUMENT IN RICHMOND

In this 2017 photo, the sun sets behind the 131-year-old statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Robert E. Lee monument
Beginning in spring 2020 following George Floyd’s death, hundreds of people regularly gathered around the monument for protests, speeches and other community events. This photo shows a crowd in June 2020. (Photo: Talya Cunningham)
Isaiah Bowen, right, takes a shot as his dad, Garth Bowen, center, looks on at a basketball hoop in front of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue
A temporary basketball hoop was brought to the grassy area around the monument and Isaiah Bowen, right, takes a shot as his dad, Garth Bowen, center, looks on at a basketball hoop on Sunday, Jun. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia
Demonstrators at the Robert E. Lee Monument on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Protestors had graffitied the monument’s pedestal in the days prior to an image of George Floyd and the phrases, “No justice, no peace” and “BLM” being projected onto the monument. The New York Times later named the monument the most influential protest art since WWII. (Photo: Jordan Vance)
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The Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond is illuminated in rainbow and “BLM,” after a march today supporting black LGBTQ+ people amid ‘Pride Month.’ (Photo: Ben Dennis)
Racial Injustice Lee Statue
A large group of protesters on June 2, 2020, gather around the Lee Monument. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Workers for The Virginia Department of General Services installed concrete barriers around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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Protesters with shields and gas masks wait for police action as they surround the Lee statue on June 23, 2020. The state ordered the area around the statue closed from sunset to sunrise, but the protesters had no plans to disperse. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Robert E. Lee statue becomes epicenter of protest movement
Tuesday June 23, 2020 (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
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Richmond dancers come together at the Robert E. Lee monument on June 5, 2020, after Northam’s announcement to take it down as soon as possible. (Kennedy George on the left, Ava Holloway on the right. Photo: Marcus Ingram)
Marcus David Peters sign
Community members unofficially renamed the Lee monument as Marcus David Peters Circle and erected a sign in the grassy area around the statue. The sign read, “Liberated by the people.” Peters was killed by a Richmond police officer in 2018 while having what his family called a mental health episode. The officer’s lethal actions were later deemed justified. (Photo: Autumn Childress, June 2020)
A man scrubbing graffiti off the Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue told 8News that he contracted himself to clean anti-cop related messages on the monument, not messages for the Black Lives Matter movement. (Photo Alex Thorson)
Signs hanging on Monument Avenue to remind people of firearms restrictions. (Photo Quincy Tucker)
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Local band playing jazz in front of the statue. (Photo: 8News)
Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax joins a crowd of protestors around the Lee statue in Richmond on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 (Photos Ben Dennis).
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The Moon illuminates the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue Friday June 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Robert E. Lee monument
The Department of General Services installed a fence around the Robert E. Lee monument on Monday, Jan. 25, in preparation for the statue’s removal. (Photo Delaney Hall)
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In January 2021, fencing was placed around the Robert E. Lee statue to prepare for its eventual removal. (Photo Delaney Hall)
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An 8-foot fence is now bolted around the Robert E. Lee monument on Richmond’s Monument Avenue. (Photo Howie Williams)
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The Robert E. Lee Monument in 2019
When the bronze statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee arrived from Paris in 1890 it took 10,000 men, women and children to move its pieces more than a mile to the site where the monument has stood for 130 years. (Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
The Robert E. Lee monument being installed in Richmond (Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
The 1890 unveiling of the Lee statue in Richmond (Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
(Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
(Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
(Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
(Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
(Photo courtesy of The Valentine)
(Photo courtesy of The Valentine)

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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