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The visual transformation of the former Lee monument site

The Robert E. Lee Monument on Monument Avenue.
Crixell Matthews
The Robert E. Lee Monument stood on Richmond’s Monument Avenue for more than 130 years. (Photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

For more than a century, a statue of Robert E. Lee Monument stood along Richmond’s Monument Avenue. It was removed Sept. 8, 2021, following more than a year of social justice protests across the country.

The one-year anniversary of its removal comes as the city works toward removing the fence currently encircling the site.

Former Gov. Ralph Northam announced in June 2020 a process through which the statue would be removed. Lawsuits followed, complicating the timeline. Throughout the past two years, VPM News staff photographer Crixell Matthews has documented the protests and changes that have taken place at the roundabout on Monument Avenue.