RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond has removed parts of the Jeff Davis statue from Monument Avenue. This comes just hours after crews were able to take the massive 17-foot-tall Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue in Libby Hill off its 100-foot-tall pedestal.
Crews arrived at the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors statue around 7:30 a.m. and by 10:30 a.m. the removal process was finished.
Around 1:15 p.m., crews were seen on Monument Avenue removing parts of the Jeff Davis monument. A contractor told 8News they would be taking the liberty statue, the two shields on the side and the plaques.
In June, demonstrators toppled the Jefferson Davis statue and it was later towed away.
The following morning, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney tweeted, “Jefferson Davis was a racist & traitor who fled our city as his troops carried out orders to burn it to the ground. He never deserved to be up on that pedestal. July 1, we will begin the process the state requires to remove these monuments to the Old Richmond of a Lost Cause.”
Last week, the city removed four Confederate monuments. On Tuesday, the J.E.B. Stuart statue was taken down.
Currently, there is just one monument left on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue — General Robert E. Lee. The Lee monument is in the hands of the state.
According to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, four more statues will be coming down by the end of the week.
The following statues have been removed from the city:
- Stonewall Jackson
- Matthew Fontaine Maury
- Cannon sitting atop a pedestal just west of the Arthur Ashe memorial
- Cannon near the statue memorializing the President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis
- J.E.B. Stuart
- Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Statue
- Jeff Davis Monument
“I’m appreciate of all the work that occurred to get to this place because it’s taken decades,” Brie Jordan-Cooley said.
Jordan-Cooley and her brother Will grew up near the monument in Libby Hill park. “I often was very embarrassed about it,” B. Jordan-Cooley said.
On Wednesday, the siblings found they have new feelings about their home city, the capital of the confederacy.
“Saying that I’m from Richmond, Virginia, I can feel a little weird about it. I’m proud that this is happening, that this change is happening,” W. Jordan-Cooley said.
Tony Coles told 8News he’s ready for his tax dollars to stop paying for the monument’s upkeep. “You wouldn’t ask the Jewish people to keep upkeep of a Hitler statue,” he said.
To Coles, the problem reaches beyond the monuments themselves.
“We need more than symbols to come down. We need the whole racism thing to come down, you know what i’m saying? Because it’s deep rooted. It’s more than just symbols. It’s what people are taught, especially the younger ones,” he said.
The mayor’s office has not released an official timeline of removals. The mayor tweeted out a link to a fundraiser asking for the community’s help to cover removal costs. It is estimated that it will cost the city $1.8 million. So far the “Move the Monuments” fundraiser has more than $23,000.
Not everyone is on board with the taking down of these monuments. The Sons of Confederate Veterans have said, history should not be erased. The Virginia Flaggers have also spoken out, calling on people to boycott the city.