Pedestal where the statue of Lee stood in the capital of Virginia completely removed | Taiwan News

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) – The enormous pedestal where the Robert E. Lee monument in the Virginia capital resided for more than 130 years until September has been completely removed and washed away.

As of Friday afternoon, every piece of the 12-meter-high pedestal where the bronze statue stood above Monument Avenue in Richmond had disappeared from a roundabout, WRIC-TV reported. The ground was level, with straw spread out about to encourage grass growth.

Governor Ralph Northam announced in early December that the pedestal – which had been covered in graffiti following the 2020 protests linked to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis – would be removed, marking a reversal of course from September. A press release issued in early December said the project should be “essentially complete” by Friday.

Amid Floyd’s protests, Northam had ordered the dismantling of the one-of-a-kind equestrian exhibit, which was installed in 1890. Litigation had delayed the statue’s removal until 2021.

Construction Superintendent Mike Spence told WRIC on Friday that it took about 1,300 hours and a crew of 21 to complete the entire project.

“For me it’s a relief to know that people can come by here now and that he has a bigger community purpose than before,” Spence said, adding that he couldn’t speak for his company. or state.

The removal of the pedestal led to the uncovering of two time capsules in December, one of which, according to contemporary reports, was placed during a cornerstone laying ceremony in 1887. Conservation experts have removed books, money, ammunition, documents and other artifacts from that capsule on Tuesday.

A fence around the circle will remain until the quality control work is complete, according to Northam’s office.

Ownership, including the statue and parts of the pedestal, will be transferred from the state to the City of Richmond.

Janice J. Kostka