Gov. Northam releases statement following removal of Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond


(Northam photo: AP)
(Statue: WRIC)

RICHMOND, Va. (WJHL) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam released a statement Wednesday morning following the removal of a Confederate general statue on Monument Avenue.

The 12-ton Robert E. Lee statue was lifted from its pedestal shortly after 8 a.m. after the Northam Administration proposed its removal more than a year ago.

Northam said the statue’s removal was past due.

“After 133 years, the statue of Robert E. Lee has finally come down — the last Confederate statue on Monument Avenue, and the largest in the South,” he said. “The public monuments reflect the story we choose to tell about who we are as a people. It is time to display history as history, and use the public memorials to honor the full and inclusive truth of who we are today and in the future.”

According to a release from the governor’s office, court challenges blocked the statue’s removal until last week, when the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously voted to move forward with its removal.

The process took a little over an hour, and the statue will be dismantled and placed into storage at a state facility before a permanent location is determined.

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