State inspecting Lee Monument as part of removal process

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Department of General Services will be inspecting the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond Monday morning.

General Services said they are sending crews to inspect the statue as part of the planning to remove it as soon as possible — and safely.

Robert E. Lee statue being inspected by the Department of General Services on June 8, 2020 (Photo: Delaney Hall)

“This is an old and heavy piece. The massive statue weighs approximately 12 tons, stands 21 feet tall, and has been on a 40-foot pedestal for 130 years. Meticulous planning is required to remove an aging monument of this size and scale safely,” General services said in a release.

This comes after demonstrators tore down another monument, the Williams Carter Wickham statue, in Monroe Park on Saturday night.

A quiet removal of the Wickham monument was already requested by his family and in the works, according to Councilwoman Kim Gray.

“I think in the long run, I would much rather have these monuments taken down appropriately by the people who should take them down but I’m also acutely aware that people are tired, people are frustrated,” said Robert W. Lee IV, a descendant of Robert E. Lee, to 8News on Monday. He actively supports the monuments being taken down. 

Gray added that a Wickham family member “made a request” for the statue, but nothing is set in stone and “anything is possible”.

“People are hurting and that statue is kind of emblematic of that hurt,” Lee IV said.

Where the 21-foot-tall Lee statue will end up also remains up in the air.

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