A new monument has been unveiled in the spot where the iconic Robert E. Lee equestrian stood in Richmond — just two weeks after it was removed.
The statue of Lee was a national historic landmark and installed in 1890.
Lawmakers were on the scene when the Emancipation and Freedom Monument was dedicated on Wednesday.
Lee’s replacement features a woman holding an infant in one hand and a document in the other, as well as a man standing with and chains dropping to the ground from his wrists. Both figures are bronze and 12′ tall.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northman, who was previously photographed wearing blackface, celebrated the new monument.
“These figures embody the power of emancipation and the power of freedom,” Northam said. “We are all at an important point in America and in Virginia as we reckon with how Virginia’s racial history shapes our present day and how we tell that story so that everyone understands it.”
“Our public memorials are symbols of who we are and what we value,” Northam said. “They’re symbols of a Virginia that is reckoning with ugliness and inequality. A Virginia that’s taken a deep hard look into what we need to do better and how to get there.”
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also attended the dedication and said that “Richmond and Virginia have come a long way … the monument that we unveil today will withstand the test of time.”
Following the conclusion of the Civil War, in 1865, Lee became president of Washington College in Virginia and supported reconciliation between North and South.
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