Family requests that Arthur Ashe statue be temporarily moved from Monument Avenue

Family requests that Arthur Ashe statue be temporarily moved from Monument Avenue

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Family members of Arther Ashe have requested that the monument be temporarily removed from Monument Avenue, according to a city spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the family made the request during the recent period of unrest in the city. Ashe’s nephew, David Harris, spoke out saying that the family members would like it to be removed until there is no threat of it being damaged.

“Our request was in the spirit of one public safety, and two artistic preservation, and if there was a threat to extensive damage of the statue,” said Harris.

Harris says the family doesn’t want to see a repeat or the defacing the statue endured back in June or for the memorial to become a potential target for agitators because it is the only other monument beside the Robert E. Lee Memorial left standing on Monument Avenue, in addition to being the only non-Confederate monument.

“Now if those things do not happen or are not an issue then the statue will stay in place, but if it is an issue of public safety and preservation only to be taken down temporarily,” said Harris.

At this time, Harris says there are no specifics as to when the city could expect to see the memorial temporarily removed if at all, but says that they would leave for the city to decide.

“Ultimately the city owns the statue so I’m allowing them to make that final decision, but ultimately we would like to see the statue continue to stand in its place,” Harris said.

Officials said the matter is still being considered and the city will continue to have discussions with the family regarding their wishes.

There is no word on where the statue would go.

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