The Lee statue is coming down: Behind the effort to remove the 6-story monument

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — 8News is working to get answers about how and when the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond will be coming down. In a news conference Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam said the statue will be removed by the Department of General Services as soon as possible.

According to the monument’s nomination form with the National Register of Historic Places, the Lee statute was unveiled on Monument Avenue in 1890. The bronze sculpture of Lee, which sits at 21-feet tall, was created by a French sculptor. In total with its 40-foot-tall granite pedestal, which was designed by a French architect, the monument stands at 61-feet tall.

“The first step is to talk with our contractors and make plans in the coming weeks to remove the actual bronze part of the statue and then we’ll have discussions as far as what to do with the pedestal,” Northam said. The governor said the bronze sculpture will be placed into storage and officials will work with the community to determine its future.

In a statement, the Department of General Services said “the size, scale and location of the monument will require careful planning, which is currently underway…”

8News made multiple attempts to get in touch with DGS to find out what the next steps are to remove the bronze sculpture. A spokesperson said they have not yet set a date or finalized details for removing it.

In Mobile, Alabama, a monument of a confederate officer was removed by the city overnight Friday. In Alexandria, the United Daughters of the Confederacy removed a confederate solider statue earlier this week. Both statues are noticeably smaller than Richmond’s 61-foot tall Lee monument.

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