Virginia took down a well recognized statue of General Robert E Lee in Richmond, Virginia Wednesday morning.
The 131-year-old statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, after a Virginia state Supreme Court ruling.
The state’s Supreme court had ruled last week that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had the authority to remove the statue in Taylor v. Northam and Gregory v. Northam.
Viewers watch a live stream of the event on the governor’s twitter feed.
“Today’s ruling is a tremendous win for the people of Virginia,” the governor said of the court’s decision. “Our public memorials are symbols of who we are and what we value. When we honor leaders who fought to preserve a system that enslaved human beings, we are honoring a lost cause that has burdened Virginia for too many years.”
Confederate statues have become a point of debate around the nation in recent years as protests and riots around issues of race have hit cities around the country. The fervor over Confederate statues has lessened recently, but this latest victory for opponents of the monument is clearly fruit of those previous years of demonstration.
The Virginia court’s decision was welcomed by local leaders.
“We are taking an important step this week to embrace the righteous cause and put the ‘Lost Cause’ behind us,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement. “Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy. We are a diverse, open, and welcoming city, and our symbols need to reflect this reality.”