How in Richmond Lee was demolished

In early September, the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state could demolish a statue of Confederate General Robert Lee in its capital city of Richmond.

In two decisions, the court ruled that Democrat Gov. Ralph Northham could remove the statue because the 1887 and 1890 decisions that moved the statue to Virginia “did not reflect the values ​​of the state” and therefore did not have legal effect. strength. “It is clear today that the largest Confederate monument in the south is crumbling,” Northam said in a statement. “When we honor leaders who fought to keep the human enslavement system alive, we celebrate a lost cause that has burdened Virginia for too many years.”

The 12-ton, 6.4-meter high bronze statue on a 12.2-meter high granite pedestal depicted Lee in military uniform on horseback. Northham announced plans to remove the statue back in June 2020, 10 days after the assassination of George Floyd, sparking nationwide protests. But the removal was then challenged by neighboring residents, who stated that they had ownership of the land and that an 1889 statute required leaving the statue alone.

This was also contested by a descendant of a family who moved the statue to Richmond. And the case went through the courts. The Supreme Court stated that “the restrictive agreements in this case are not enforceable as contrary to public policy and unfounded, as their effect is to force the government to consistently express a message with which it currently disagrees.” Two days after this decision, the statue was removed from the pedestal and they began to look for the “time capsule” allegedly embedded in it, but so far nothing has been found.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” # 38 of September 16, 2021

Newspaper headline:
How in Richmond Lee was demolished

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