Richmond's Lee Statue, other Confederate Memorials Could go to Black History MuseumBreaking News
tags: memorials, Confederacy, Robert E. Lee, monuments
City and state officials have reached an agreement to transfer ownership of the statue and pedestal of Gen. Robert E. Lee to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, which has also agreed to take possession of all the other Confederate memorials removed from Richmond since last year.
Under this arrangement, Richmond’s Black History Museum would work in partnership with the Valentine museum — which has chronicled the city’s history for more than a century — and local community members to determine the fates of the stone and bronze symbols of the Confederacy.
The deal requires approval by Richmond’s City Council. Mayor Levar Stoney — who hammered out some of the details with Gov. Ralph Northam (D) — said in a written statement that the arrangement enables the community to take a deliberate approach in reckoning with such divisive symbols.
“Entrusting the future of these monuments and pedestals to two of our most respected institutions is the right thing to do,” Stoney said in the statement, obtained by The Washington Post and planned for release Thursday morning. “They will take the time that is necessary to properly engage the public and ensure the thoughtful disposition of these artifacts.”
Since last summer’s racial justice protests, many cities around Virginia have removed Confederate memorials from public spaces. But they’ve often struggled to figure out what to do with the oversized artifacts.
Albemarle County drew criticism from social justice advocates for agreeing to send its “At Ready” Confederate soldier statue to a battlefield in the Shenandoah Valley, where it can remain on public display. The city of Charlottesville, on the other hand, sparked outrage from preservationists by donating its statue of Lee to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, which plan