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‘Racist’ statue handed over to black museum for destruction – rt usa news

Charlottesville, Virginia, has decided to donate the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to an African-American museum that wants to use bronze for something “more representative” of the city’s new values.

The bronze equestrian statue that previously stood for nearly 100 years in historic Charlottesville was removed from its pedestal in July. On Tuesday, city council voted unanimously to hand it over to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, which offered to melt it down and reuse the bronze for another public art project.

The “Swords in plowshares” project “Will allow Charlottesville to face its racist past”, said Andrea Douglas, director general of the museum. “It’s really about taking something that had been harmful and turning it into something that is representative of the values ​​of the city today.

The Charlottesville monument to Lee, a Virginian who commanded the Confederate armies during the American Civil War of 1861-65, was commissioned in 1917 and dedicated in 1924. The 2015 petition by a local high school student to remove it led to protests and counter-demonstrations in August 2017. A young woman died when one of the demonstrators ran over a group of counter-demonstrators with a car.

As more than 30 groups and individuals have expressed interest in Lee’s statue, and six have submitted formal proposals – including one even offering $ 50,000 to buy it – the Democrat-dominated council decided it wanted that it be destroyed rather than handed over to someone with potential Confederate sympathies.

“This statue is loaded with so many negative meanings, that the only options we should consider are those that take the opportunity to involve the community in the transformation of a new narrative,” board member Michael Payne said on Tuesday.

The Jefferson School intends to consult with Charlottesville residents on what the new artwork should be and then select a proposal that would be returned to the city by 2024. It has raised approximately $ 590,000 on the estimated cost of the project at $ 1.1 million.

Another vote, scheduled for December 20, will decide the fate of the Jackson memorial, as well as the statue of explorers Lewis & Clark, which was removed at the request of Native American groups.


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