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Empty pedestal of where the statue of Robert E. Lee used to stand on Sept. 8 in Richmond, Va. Photo: Eze Amos/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Sunday plans to remove the remaining pedestal that previously propped up Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue and turn the land over to the city.

Why it matters: This marks a final step in the complete removal of the public memorial to the confederate general, following the statue's removal in September.

The big picture: The process of removing the pedestal is expected to be "substantially complete" by Dec. 31, per the press release.

  • Sunday's decision is a reversal of Northam's previous stance, which was to allow the pedestal to remain in place, per AP.
  • The pedestal parts will be stored, "until next steps have been determined," the press release noted.

What they're saying: “This land is in the middle of Richmond, and Richmonders will determine the future of this space,” Northam said in the press release.

  • “The Commonwealth will remove the pedestal and we anticipate a safe removal and a successful conclusion to this project.”

Go deeper

Virginia historians open second time capsule found under Lee statue

A second time capsule that was stored at the former site of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond is uncovered on Monday. Photo: Office of the Governor of Virginia/Twitter

Virginia officials on Tuesday opened a second time capsule found at the former site of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond and found Confederate money, a bible, copper coins and more.

Driving the news: On Monday, officials found a second time capsule, and last week, Virginia historians opened a capsule they believed to date to 1887, though it did not hold highly anticipated contents related to the Confederacy.

4 mins ago - Sports

Olympians avoiding COVID at all costs ahead of Beijing Games

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

10 days out from the Olympics, athletes around the world are battening down the hatches in hopes of making it to Beijing COVID-free.

Why it matters: The Beijing bubble — a closed-loop system meant to shut off the outside world entirely — is the strictest ever created for a global sporting event.

8 mins ago - World

DOJ's China Initiative under scrutiny as cases fall apart

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The tide of public opinion may be turning against the Justice Department's China Initiative, as more cases fall apart and more of the researchers charged are speaking out.

The big picture: Chinese government-linked economic and industrial espionage in the United States is a real concern, but the China Initiative's flaws may be overshadowing the problem it was intended to address.