Crews Unable to Find 1887 Time Capsule Reportedly Hidden in Lee Monument Pedestal

After removing the huge statue of Lee from its pedestal on Wednesday, crews spent all day Thursday excavating a corner of the pedestal in search of an 1887 time capsule reportedly placed in the monument. But they never found it.

“Disappointing not to find the time capsule,” Governor Ralph Northam’s Chief of Staff Clark Mercer told reporters Thursday evening.

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Richmond’s Lee Monument Comes Down After Towering over Richmond for 131 Years

The Robert E. Lee statue that towered over Richmond for more than a century is on its way to storage. A crowd of a few hundred people peered through tree branches trying to watch from the public viewing site, and cheered as the monument was lifted off its pedestal. Crews cut along an original seam and removed Lee’s torso from the rest of the statue to allow transport by flatbed truck. The mood among the public was largely upbeat.

“It’s powerful for one day to dig in and celebrate, but you have to remember it’s just symbolic and it really doesn’t change anything about our lives. So we have to make real change,” Richmond resident Emily Gaidowski told The Virginia Star.

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Northam Seeks Artifacts for New Time Capsule at the Lee Monument, Asks City of Richmond to Not Remove Monument Avenue Pedestals

It’s thought that there is a time capsule in the pedestal of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond. The Virginia Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether or not the state can remove the monument, and in an announcement earlier this week Governor Ralph Northam said they will open the capsule when the monument is removed. He also invited Virginians to suggest new artifacts for a replacement time capsule to be placed at the site.

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