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Virginia has removed a Robert E. Lee statue from the state’s capital

Virginia removed the Confederate statue, which was built in 1890

SHARE Virginia has removed a Robert E. Lee statue from the state’s capital
The towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, is removed.

Lifting straps surround the Lee statue as crews remove one of the country’s largest remaining monuments to the Confederacy, a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.

Steve Helber, Associated Press

Virginia removed a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the state’s capital on Wednesday, a major move that came after more than one year of debate.

Virginia removes Robert E. Lee statue

Per The New York Times, the crews removed the statue of Lee, the famous Civil War general for the South, on Wednesday morning.

  • It took crews about one hour to remove the statue, WTVR reports.

The statue was first added in 1890 and became the first of six Confederate monuments on the main area of Richmond, the former capital city of the Confederacy, according to The New York Times.

  • The Lee statue was the last one to be removed.

Why was Robert E. Lee’s statue removed?

The removal came about one year after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam called for its removal.

  • “The public monuments reflect the story we choose to tell about who we are as a people,” Northam said, according to CBS News. “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.”

Are there other Confederate statues?

The decision to remove the statue came after the Supreme Court issued two rulings last week, which came after an intensive debate about what to do with the statue and about the purpose of the statue, according to CNN.

  • “The statue, like other symbols of the Confederacy in the commonwealth and and across the country including the busts of Confederate figures in the Virginia statehouse, was removed after the killing of George Floyd prompted a nationwide reckoning with police brutality and racism,” CNN reports.