Charlottesville African-American Museum Melts Robert E. Lee Statue for New Public Art Work


A 1,100-pound statue of Robert E. Lee, who was at the heart of the 2017 white supremacist Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.. , Will melt quickly and be diverted to new public artwork.

The proposal by the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center was accepted by the Charlottesville City Council on Tuesday. The project, titled “Swords IntoPloughshares,” takes in the views of the community and recreates Lee’s statue in a whole new way.

In a video, Center Secretary-General Andrea Douglas said the project’s goal is to “change what was once toxic in our public space into a more beautiful reflection of the social value of our entire community. To make things. “

In February 2017, the city of Charlottesville resolved to remove the statue of Lee and General Stonewall Jackson of the South Army. In protest, a group of white supremacists organized a rally called “Unite the Right” from August 11th to 12th, with white supremacists marching on the campuses of Lee Park and the University of Virginia. “The Jews will not replace us,” he said.

White supremacists with torches participate in the night march.

A white supremacist marching in Torchlight on the eve of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017. (Shay Horse / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A fierce clash between white supremacists and opposition protesters took place on August 12. James Alex Fields Jr., who was protesting the removal of the statue of Lee, pushed his car into a group of opposition protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Hayer and injuring others.

In November, the jury ordered 17 white supremacist leaders and their organizations to pay more than $ 26 million in damages to the nine lawsuits in the case.

Like the monument built to the south in the decades following the North’s victory in the Civil War, the statue of Lee was a gift to the city. Completed in 1924 by Virginia stock broker Paul MacIntyre in 1917, the museum “embosses certain ideologies we no longer share,” said the museum director. Douglas says.

In contrast, the new artwork seeks input from a wide range of citizens of the community.

Jalane Schmidt, director of memory projects at the University of Virginia, said: The democracy initiative said in the video.

Workers used chains to remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee of the South Army.

Workers remove the statue of General Robert E. Lee of the South Army in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 10. (Evelyn Hoxtine / Reuters)

Lee’s bronze is currently stored in a private location. In recent years, statues of heroes of the South Army have fallen across the South. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on Monday that he would remove a 40-foot granite pedestal in Richmond, where another bronze of Lee stood until it was removed in 2020.

The debate is still fierce, Whether to change the name of the school, park or street Named after those who fought for the Navy, Charlottesville hopes that melting Lee and making a new one in its bronze will help heal very old wounds.

“Our community will be creative in confronting white supremacy. Beauty heals the ugliness of the past,” Schmidt said.