Virginia Gov. orders removal of huge pedestal that once held Robert E. Lee statue; time capsule may be recovered

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Crews remove one of the country's largest remaining monuments to the Confederacy, a towering statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the Commonwealth will remove the pedestal that formerly displayed the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, as part of a plan reached with the City of Richmond to convey the state-owned land to the City. Preliminary work at the site is expected to begin Monday morning. The removal process will be substantially complete by December 31.

“This land is in the middle of Richmond, and Richmonders will determine the future of this space,” said Governor Northam. “The Commonwealth will remove the pedestal and we anticipate a safe removal and a successful conclusion to this project.”

Once the pedestal has been removed, the Commonwealth will convey the circle of land to the City of Richmond. The Commonwealth will safely disassemble and store the pedestal until next steps have been determined.

If the 1887 time capsule is recovered during the disassembly process, it will remain under control of the Commonwealth and will be removed for preservation.

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