The largest Confederate monument in the US is set for removal this week

On Wednesday, a 12-ton statue representing Confederate General Robert E. Lee will be taken down from its pedestal at Richmond, Virginia.
This is more than a year since Governor Ralph Northam ordered the statue be removed.

The statue, which is currently the largest Confederate monument, will be moved into a state-owned facility.

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After towering above Monument Avenue in Richmond (Virginia) for over 130 years, the largest Confederate statue is set to be taken down by its owner on Wednesday.

A crew will store the statue of Robert E. Lee, American Confederate General, in a state-owned facility.

Anti-racism activists have been focusing their efforts on the removal of Confederate monuments in the US over recent years. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, 160 Confederate symbols were removed from public places in 2020.

Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam stated that Virginia's largest monument to Confederate Insurrection will be taken down this week. Ralph Northam released a statement. "This is an important step in demonstrating who we are as a commonwealth and what we value."

Northam ordered that the statue be removed in June 2020 after protests across the country erupted following the murder of George Floyd (a Black man) by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Legal challenges were raised by a descendant from the family who gave the statue to Virginia and from Richmond families. The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled in Northam’s favor last week.

Since 1890, the statue has dominated Monument Avenue in Richmond. According to a press release by the commonwealth, five other confederate statues were previously located there. However, Lee's remains.

Virginia will keep the monument's 40-food granite pedestal in place. The city of Richmond, Virginia and the Virginia Department of Fine Arts are working together to "reimagine Monument Avenue," a tourist area.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney stated that Richmond is no longer considered the capital of the confederacy. "We are an open, diverse, and welcoming city. Our symbols must reflect that reality."