Next steps decided in the future of Richmond Confederate monuments that were removed last year

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Following a unanimous vote at a meeting Monday evening, Richmond City Council has established a process for deciding where the city’s Confederate monuments that were removed last summer will go.

Those statues currently sit in storage. The City has received 22 requests to take ownership of the monuments.

City Council members voted to approve RES 2021-R025 which sets the process for choosing the next owners of each of Richmond’s Confederate monuments. The city-owned monuments to the Confederacy were removed last summer following a period of civil unrest.

A collaborative committee made up of members of the city administration and members of the Office of the Council Chief of Staff will meet on Thursday to begin reviewing the request scoring process. The Office of the Council Chief of Staff has released a rough draft of a Monuments Criteria Evaluation Scoresheet.

According to the Office of the Council Chief of Staff, the collaborative committee will evaluate each request to take one or multiple monuments while considering public comment. Most requests come from organizations, museums and individuals in Virginia, although some come from other states as far as California.

After public comment and hearings, the committee will work with the City Attorney to negotiate with those requesting the monuments to work out the terms for moving each monument.

Then they will make recommendations to City Council for the final disposition of the monuments, which is expected to take place by June 28.

According to the Office of the Council Chief of Staff, the future of the monument’s pedestals that are still standing will be decided after review, vetting and approval by the Richmond Commission of Architectural Review on May 25, the Richmond Urban Design Committee on June 10 and the Richmond Planning Commission on June 21.

Some Richmond residents spoke on the topic during public comment Monday night.

Sarah Driggs said the process should to be handled carefully and not rushed. “What you decide has the potential to negatively affect another city or town for decades the same way the monuments oppressed Richmond,” she said, showing support for the request from the Valentine Museum to receive some monuments.

Meanwhile, another resident, Robert Floyd, expressed concerns about preservation and keeping the monuments in the Commonwealth. Floyd wants to see all of the monuments on display in Virginia, showing support for the requests from the J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust and the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

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