Public hearing set on Lee statue replacement at US 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) — A state panel tasked with recommending a replacement for Virginia’s Robert E. Lee statue at the U.S. Capitol will hold a virtual public hearing on the matter next month.

The panel, created by the General Assembly earlier this year, has set a Nov. 17 hearing, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Sunday. The public can also weigh in by email or mail through Nov. 27.

Following the public hearing and the end of the public comment period, the Department of Historic Resources will present the panel with a list of five finalists. Then the commission will pick the honoree at a virtual meeting in December.

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

Among the most frequently suggested individuals so far is Barbara Johns, the newspaper reported. 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.

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