Confederate monuments taken down in Richmond will likely be moved to a black history museum and cultural center, Virginia officials have said.
An imposing statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee that was removed in September is expected to be among the monuments being transferred.
Memorials to leaders of the pro-slavery, Confederate states in the southern US have been controversial.
A community-led process will decide the fate of the memorials, officials say.
As part of the plan announced on December 30 by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney, the monuments will be handed over to the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA).
The museum will also coordinate with the city’s Valentine museum – which focuses on Richmond’s history – and the local community to determine how the monuments are used going forward.
The plan, however, still requires the approval of the local city council – which Levar Stoney will seek in January.
“Entrusting the future of these monuments and pedestals to two of our most respected institutions is the right thing to do,” Mayor Stoney said in a statement.
“They will take the time that is necessary to properly engage the public and ensure the thoughtful future uses of these artifacts.”
The collection includes monuments to a number of other prominent Confederate figures – including former Confederate president Jefferson Davis – as well as a ceremonial cannon and a monument to Confederate soldiers and sailors.
Richmond was the capital of the Confederate states during the US Civil War.
Governor Northam said that the monuments “celebrate our country’s tragic division and the side that fought to keep alive the institution of slavery by any means necessary”.
The BHMVA’s interim executive director, Marland Buckner, said in a statement to local media that a handover of the monuments will present “opportunities to deepen our understanding of an essential element of the American story: the expansion of freedom”.
Mayor Stoney ordered that the city’s remaining Confederate monuments, including a 21 ft statue of Robert E. Lee erected in 1890, be removed amid national protests over the murder of George Floyd.
Plans to remove the Lee statue were initially delayed by two separate lawsuits by Richmond residents opposed to its removal.
Hundreds of statues of Lee and other Confederate figures still exist throughout the southern US.
As well Gen Robert E. Lee, who was military commander during the 1861-1865 American Civil War, a statue of another rebel general, Albert Sidney Johnston, and of Confederate postmaster John H. Reagan were taken down.
They were moved to a centre for American history on campus.
A statue of Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg, who served from 1891 to 1895, was also removed and will be considered for re-installation at another site.
“The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history,” Greg Fenves continued.
“But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”
The university removed a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its campus in 2015 following a mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Greg Fenves added that he spoke with members of faculty, students and alumni following the deadly demonstrations in Virginia.
Dozens of schools and local governments have begun removing statues dedicated to the Confederacy, which was a pro-slavery rebellion against the federal government.
It follows violent clashes at a march on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacists and neo-Nazis protested against the removal of a monument of General Lee.
Last week, four Confederate-era statues were taken down in Baltimore, Maryland, while the governors of Virginia and North Carolina have ordered the removal of similar monuments in their states.
Recent removals of Confederate statues has sparked backlash among an outspoken group of Americans who view the statues as symbols of US history and southern culture.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the debate on August 17, tweeting that controversial monuments are “beautiful”, adding that they would be “greatly missed” from US cities.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.