Statue of Robert E. Lee (Valentine)

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Robert E. Lee
Lee r.jpg
The statue
ArtistEdward Virginius Valentine
MediumBronze sculpture
SubjectRobert E. Lee
LocationRichmond, Virginia, United States

Robert E. Lee is a bronze sculpture commemorating the general of the same name by Edward Virginius Valentine, formerly installed in the crypt of the United States Capitol as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.[1][2][3] The statue was gifted by the commonwealth of Virginia in 1909.[4] On December 21, 2020, the sculpture was removed from the grounds of the United States Capitol and relocated to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.[5]


On January 2, 2020, Virginia governor Ralph Northam requested a bill to remove the statue from the U.S. Capitol building. The idea came from United States representatives Jennifer Wexton and Donald McEachin. "These statutes aimed to rewrite Lee’s reputation from that of a cruel slave owner and Confederate General to portraying him as a kind man and reluctant war hero who selflessly served his home state of Virginia," Wexton and McEachin wrote in a letter to Northam. The pair suggested several potential candidates, including educator and orator Booker T. Washington and civil rights attorney Oliver Hill.[6]

On December 16, 2020, the Commission on Historical Statues in the United States Capitol unanimously recommended that the Lee statue be replaced with a statue of civil rights activist Barbara Rose Johns as the Virginian representative within the collection.[7] The statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from the National Statuary Hall five days later, on 21 December with Wexton, McEachin and Virginia United States Senator Tim Kaine in attendance.[5][8] It was then transferred to the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Journal of the Senate of Virginia". Commonwealth of Virginia. 24 August 2017. Archived from the original on 15 June 2022. Retrieved 24 August 2017 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Why Are They There?: The Confederate Statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection – The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History". 26 May 2016. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  3. ^ "25 conflict leaders in Statuary Hall". The Washington Times. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 24 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Robert E. Lee". Architect of the Capitol. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Forgery, Quint (December 21, 2020). "Robert E. Lee statue removed from Capitol". Politico. Archived from the original on December 27, 2020. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Virginia governor seeking to remove Robert E. Lee statue from US Capitol Archived 2020-01-06 at the Wayback Machine BY MARINA PITOFSKY, The Hill, Jan 2, 2020
  7. ^ Kealy, Caroline (2020-12-16). "Civil rights icon selected to replace Lee statue in US Capitol". WSET-TV. Archived from the original on 2020-12-17. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  8. ^ "Virginia Removes Its Robert E. Lee Statue From U.S. Capitol". Archived from the original on 2020-12-21. Retrieved 2020-12-21.

External links