Temporary concrete barriers were installed around the Robert E Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, on June 17, as officials planned for its removal, the Virginia Department of General Services announced on Twitter.
A number of Confederate statues have recently been torn down throughout Richmond by anti-racism protesters, according to local reports.
Virginia Gov Ralph Northam said on June 4 that he asked the Department of General Services to take down the statue and move it into storage. Northam said officials would “work with the community” to decide what to do with the monument.
Reports said a lawsuit has challenged Northam’s order, questioning the governor’s authority and citing concerns over the National Historic Landmark designation along Monument Avenue in Richmond.
The Virginia Department of General Services said the barriers “are intended to protect the safety of everyone speaking out to make their voices heard, as well as the structure itself.”
The department said removal plans will go forward as officials “await the outcome of litigation.” Credit: Wendy Goodman Humble via Storyful