RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Following a unanimous vote by Richmond City Council members to keep the city’s Confederate monuments down permanently, the question on many residents’ minds is what’s next?
AP Hill is the only statue owned by the city left standing after Mayor Levar Stoney ordered them down as a safety precaution during protests but it’s unclear who may end up with the rest of Richmond’s Confederate symbols.
But now that council formally voted to remove them Monday night, over the next month, city council staff will start accepting proposals from those interested in claiming the pieces of history.
The city has a minimum of 30 days – a rule set by the state earlier this year – to offer and consider proposals. While a representative in council staff says they will accept all offers, the city must offer them to select groups.
“Museums, governments, battlefields or historical societies,” City Attorney Haskell Brown explained following Monday’s vote.
City Council Chief of Staff Lawrence Anderson says he’ll meet with councilmembers and Mayor Stoney’s administration soon about the vetting process.
“Council staff has begun the process of taking things in common and coming up with the rubric that we have not finalized yet for actual disposition,” Anderson said.
But what about the graffiti-ridden pedestal that Confederate statues stood on before their removal? The council’s vote included the extraction of the vandalized slabs of concrete once mounted by Confederate leaders and symbols.
The fate of where the statues end up, however, resides in the hands of city council members.
“Whether the council chooses to have a statue that is given to one party, and then the pedestal be demolished or the pedestal be removed and give them to another party, or the pedestal to ultimately remain in place, even, if the counselor chooses to adopt a later piece of legislation to do that, that’s up to the council,” Brown added.
8News reached out to an official in the mayor’s administration who said plans for removing the pedestals are not set in stone. What the city replaces the Confederate monuments with, also remains unclear. The mayor’s office says, however, the decision will involve community engagement.