Robert E. Lee statue on Monument Avenue to come down


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The largest Confederate statue in the United States is coming down this week, officials with the Department of General Services announced on Monday.

The Robert E. Lee monument that towers over Monument Avenue in Richmond will be removed on Wednesday, Sept. 8, following authorization from all three branches of state government.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced his intentions to have the statue removed in the summer of 2020 — 10 days after George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer sparked protests over police brutality and racism in cities across the country, including Richmond. 

Last week, the Supreme Court of Virginia sided with the state in two lawsuits, making way for the removal.

Preparations for the removal of the statue will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7, when crews will install protective fencing along Monument Avenue and Allen Street. Fencing will stay in place until all items are removed from the site.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the plans, the Lee statue will be cut at the waist and the torso will be removed first. Lee’s legs and the horse will be removed second. There are eight “pins” holding the statue up on the base.

After removal, the source said the statue pieces will be heading to the Goochland Women’s Correctional Center on State Route 6.

On Thursday, Sept. 9, crews will remove the plaques from the base of the monument and will
replace a time capsule that is believed to be located at the site, officials said. The 40‐foot granite pedestal will remain for now.

The public can view the statue’s removal through a livestream on Facebook and Twitter: @GovernorVA. There will also be in-person viewing opportunities on a first‐come, first‐served basis. A designated public viewing section will be located on Monument Avenue to the east of the Lee monument site beginning at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 8 and Thursday, Sept. 9.

The Robert E. Lee statue will be placed in secure storage at a state‐owned facility.

Road closures and no parking areas will also be in effect starting Tuesday at 6 p.m.

The closures will remain in effect until 6 p.m., Saturday, September 11. According to the police department, roads may be re-opened sooner depending on circumstances.

Here are the roads that will be closed and no parking zones that will be in effect during the time period:

  • Monument Avenue between North Meadow and Lombardy streets
  • North Allen Avenue between Park Avenue and West Broad Street
  • West Grace Street between North Meadow and Lombardy streets

Here are the roads that will have no parking zones in effect during that time period:

  • West Broad Street between North Meadow and Lombardy streets
  • Park Avenue between North Meadow and Lombardy streets
  • North Meadow Street between Park Avenue and West Broad Street
  • Lombardy Street between Park Avenue and West Broad Street

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