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Richmond City Council to take steps in deciding the fate of Monument Avenue

Posted at 12:59 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 18:32:22-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond City Council members are scheduled to vote on a resolution Monday night that would ask the General Assembly to give them the authority to decide the fate of the statues on Monument Avenue.

It is something that’s been in the works for well over a year now -- with all different opinions weighing in on the matter.

In July, the Monument Avenue Commission submitted a report to the Mayor recommending that the Jefferson Davis Statue be removed.

Councilman Michael Jones (9th District) wants state lawmakers to allow council members to vote on the issue since state law limits the power of local governments to remove historical monuments.

Last December, city council rejected a similar proposal put forth by Jones.

One camera club is working on a project called, 'I Saw,' in which each photographer shows what they saw when standing beneath the Jefferson Davis statue.

“In this case, it might be the monument, it might be the tail lights of cars going down Monument Avenue,” said Cindy Krumbein, a photographer in that club. "Each person sees something totally different, and that makes it fun when we all get together."

Krumbein stood outside of the Jefferson Davis Monument taking pictures Monday.

She said the group chose that monument because they thought it might be the first to go. She said she noticed many aspects of the statue visually when she stood before it, but when it came to what she thought should be done with the monuments -- she had a unique idea.

"I would do a whole lot with Monument Avenue," Krumbein said. "Personally I think that we should have some Native Americans. We should have some people of color besides Arthur Ashe. I think we should have some women here. If you’re not going to add some things then I guess you probably have to take some of these down."

Jefferson Davis monument

Others, who live on Monument Avenue, like Wanda Smith, said tearing down the monuments isn't something that could -- or should -- happen overnight.

"It takes a lot of funds and money to remove those statues on Monument," said Smith.

Smith said she also sees the value in preserving history.

She said when people come to Monument Avenue, nearly everyone sees something different.

"You can't please everybody, but it's going to have to come to a resolution about the statues," Smith added.