Meeting to be held on Lee statue replacement at U.S. Capitol

Virginia News

FILE – In this June 11, 2020, file photo, a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, of Virginia, stands in the Crypt on Capitol Hill in Washington. A Virginia panel has recommended that Lee’s statue in the U.S. Capitol be replaced with another yet-to-be named Virginian amid national discussions about removing controversial symbols. The eight-member Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol voted unanimously on Friday, July 24, 2020, to take down the statute. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginians will have an opportunity to voice their views on who the state should honor after a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is replaced at the U.S. Capitol.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Commission for Historical Statues in the U.S. Capitol will meet remotely on Thursday. The panel will discuss a process for selecting a statue to replace Virginia’s statue of Lee in the Statuary Hall Collection.

People who want to speak at the virtual meeting must register by noon Wednesday at www.dhr.virginia.gov/uscapitolcommission. They can also submit written comments by Wednesday at noon to USCapitolCommission@dhr.virginia.gov.

The panel will also hold at least one public hearing before making a recommendation to the General Assembly.

The panel had voted in July to take down the Lee statue and replace it with a to-be-determined Virginian. The Virginia Museum of History & Culture in Richmond will take the Lee statue.

Suggested replacements include Barbara Johns. She is the schoolgirl who led the walkout at Farmville’s Moton High School in 1951 to protest the students’ substandard segregated school facilities. The Farmville case lead to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that found officially segregated public schools unconstitutional.

People have also suggested James Madison, Booker T. Washington and George C. Marshall.

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