Northam to Remove Lee Statue Pedestal, Transfer Land to City

Northam to Remove Lee Statue Pedestal, Transfer Land to City Northam to Remove Lee Statue Pedestal, Transfer Land to City The pedestal that once held the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee stands empty on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. The pedestal has been covered in graffiti, with some describing it as a work of protest art that should be left in place. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

SARAH RANKIN Sunday, 05 December 2021 02:08 PM

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has announced that his administration will remove an enormous pedestal that until earlier this year held a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The announcement on Sunday marks a reversal in course from September, when the Richmond statue was removed but the Democratic governor said the 40-foot-tall graffiti-covered pedestal would stay.

His administration also announced plans to transfer ownership of the grassy island in the middle of a traffic circle where the statue was located to the city of Richmond. The move comes about a month before Northam leaves office.

Republican Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin will be sworn in next month and has expressed less enthusiasm about the statue’s removal.