Gen. Lee rides again after makeover
To prepare for a celebration of Robert E. Lee’s 200th birthday on Jan. 19, 2007, the Virginia Department of General Services repaired and restored the statue of the Confederate General located on Monument Avenue in Richmond. The red brass statue of Lee was erected in 1890, the first of six statues on the avenue. It was sculpted in Paris, France, by Marius Jean Antonin Mercié and shipped to the United States in seven crates to be displayed atop a granite monument. Since then, time and weather caused the statue to crack and the joints to separate. The department contracted with Richmond-based Bronze et al to complete the repairs, and the contractor called in Aberdeen, Md.-based MQC Labs to x-ray the structure to determine its condition where an industrial borescope had failed. Based on the evaluation, a series of structural and cosmetic welds were made, and several holes were drilled to allow water to escape.