Virginia’s largest monument to the Civil War, a towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, is set to come down on this week. Democrat Governor and Black Face wearing Ralph Northam said in a statement Monday, “This is an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a Commonwealth.”
Located on Monument Avenue, it is the largest Confederate statue in the United States and was erected in the month of May, 1890, more than 130 ears ago. It was built as a tribute to a Civil War hero who is now widely seen by liberals as a symbol of racial injustice, according to state officials on Monday.
In Monday’s new release, state officials said that preparations for the statue’s removal will began at 6 pm on Tuesday when crews will install protective fencing. After the statue is taken down Wednesday, crews on Thursday will remove plaques from the base of the monument and will replace a time capsule that is believed to be there.
The statue will come down on Wednesday, September 8. It will be placed in storage at a state-owned facility until a decision is made on what exactly to do with it. As one of the largest and most recognizable Confederate statues in the country, the removal of the Lee statue is expected to draw huge crowds.
“Protective fencing will be installed to ensure the safety of the crews removing the statue and those who choose to view it in person. This is necessary due to the statue’s location in a residential neighborhood and its size. Limited viewing opportunities will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis,” the state said Monday.
The 40-foot granite pedestal which currently supports the statue of Lee will remain at its location for now. The pedestal’s final arrangement will be determined following a “community-driven effort to reimagine Monument Avenue” spearheaded by the city and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
The Lee statue was created by the internationally renowned French sculptor Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercie and is considered a masterpiece, according to its nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, where it has been listed since 2007.