The Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol is charged with determining whether the Robert E. Lee statue in the National Statuary Hall Collection at the United States Capitol should be replaced (which it did recommend) and to recommend to the General Assembly as a replacement a statue of a prominent Virginia citizen of historic renown or renowned for distinguished civil or military service to be commemorated in the National Statuary Hall Collection.
The Commission consists of eight members appointed as follows: one member of the House of Delegates appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates; one member of the Senate appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules; two non-legislative citizen members who are Virginia or American historians appointed by the Governor; three non-legislative citizen members appointed upon the vote of the Commission members appointed by the Speaker, the Senate Committee on Rules, and the Governor; and the Director of the Department of Historic Resources (DHR), who serves ex officio with nonvoting privileges. The Department of Historic Resources will provide staff support to the Commission.
The Commission will also be required to (i) select a sculptor for the new statue, with preference given to a sculptor from Virginia; (ii) estimate the costs associated with the replacement of the Robert E. Lee statue, including costs related to construction and placement of the new statue, for the removal and transfer of the Robert E. Lee statue, and for any unveiling ceremony of the new statue; and (iii) recommend to the General Assembly a suitable state, local, or private nonprofit history museum in the Commonwealth for placement of the Robert E. Lee statue.
The bill requires the Commission to hold at least one public hearing prior to making any recommendation to the General Assembly on a new statue and requires the costs of the Commission’s work to be borne by the Commission from such private funds as are collected by the Commission and general funds as are appropriated by the General Assembly.
Comments or questions about the Commission’s work can be submitted to USCapitolCommission@dhr.virginia.gov.
Due to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic, meetings will be held virtually until further notice.
Meeting: December 16
The Commission convened on Dec. 16 and approved a motion to recommend a statue of Barbara Rose Johns for the U.S. Capitol. View a screen video recording of the virtual meeting. Password: 3CrRFUJE
Emails Posted After December 16 meeting:
Meeting: Nov. 17, 2020
Public Comments Submitted in Advance of Nov. 17 Meeting:
Public Comments Submitted After Nov. 17 Meeting:
Article and Op-Ed of Note from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Meeting: October 8:
Public Documents Submitted in Advance of October 8 Meeting:
Meeting: August 7:
During the August 7 meeting, the Commission recommended asking the Virginia Museum of History and Culture (VMHC) to accept the R. E. Lee statue for its collections.
Meeting: July 24:
See “Links”below for more information.
*NOTE: Minutes posted shortly after each meeting are not official (as indicated by the word “DRAFT” at the top of the first page). Official minutes will not be posted until they are approved by the Commission at the next meeting. Once approved by the Commission, the draft minutes will be removed from the website and the official minutes will be posted (as indicated by the removal of the word “DRAFT”).
Updated March 10, 2021