Story at a glance

  • Virginia authorities expect to remove the state’s largest Confederate monument on Wednesday.
  • The 21-foot tall bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on a horse sits in the center of a traffic circle along Monument Avenue in Richmond.
  • "Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Virginia authorities are set to remove on Wednesday the Commonwealth's largest memorial to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Officials said in a statement on Monday that the 21-foot tall bronze statue of Lee on a horse in the center of a traffic circle along Monument Avenue in Richmond, as well as plaques and a time capsule on site, will be taken out over a few days. 

The process is slated to begin more than a year after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) vowed to topple the monument in the wake of the death of George Floyd. The statue, which is the only one owned by the Commonwealth, was erected in 1890, according to the release. 

“Virginia’s largest monument to the Confederate insurrection will come down this week,” Northam said in a release on Monday. “This is an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a commonwealth.”


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Crews are expected to begin the process Tuesday evening by clearing the area to set up protective fencing. Authorities plan to move the statue itself Wednesday at 8 a.m. Meanwhile, the statue’s 40-foot pedestal will stay on site while officials decide its fate. 

Northam’s initial plans to topple the monument met legal challenges before the Virginia Supreme court confirmed the state's authority to remove it.  

Public viewing will be available via the governor’s official Facebook or Twitter page. Live viewers will be permitted on a first come, first serve basis. 


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"We are taking an important step this week to embrace the righteous cause and put the 'Lost Cause' behind us," Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in the news release. "Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy. We are a diverse, open and welcoming city, and our symbols need to reflect this reality.”


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Published on Sep 07, 2021