Richmond’s graffitied Robert E. Lee monument makes cover of National Geographic

Updated: Dec. 9, 2020 at 5:24 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A photo of the Robert E. Lee monument, complete with graffiti and a projection of George Floyd, graces the cover of the January 2021 issue of National Geographic magazine.

The special issue will feature seventy-one photos that sum up what the publication calls an “unforgettable” year.

The image was snapped by photographer Kris Graves. The projection of George Floyd’s face was part of an art installation by artists Dustin Klein and Alex Criqui, now immortalized in the national publication.

“I’m personally just really happy that this image has resonated, and that people responded in a way that’s been positive”, said Klein.

“Nat Geo is a very powerful publication,” Cruiqui said. “To have our city and our work be featured as one of the most emblematic images of the year is definitely an honor.”

According to Nat Geo, the inaugural 2021 issue is a first-of-its-kind photo-retrospective with four themes: “the year that tested us, the year that isolated us, the year that empowered us and the year that hope endured”.

It features other photos related to the pandemic and the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“I’m glad some good people can see it more in different places,” said Bee The Gardener, a Richmonder who visits the Lee statue daily. Bee tends to the greenery on Lee Circle, adding that he’s happy to see the symbol that he cares so much for, reach eyes beyond state lines.

Marvin Cain also continues to visit the monument daily: “Somebody brought [the cover] up on their phone and we were sitting there in the tent and we were all like ‘Ay!’,” he said.

The issue is now available at

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