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Charlottesville Robert E. Lee Statue To Be Melted Down And Repurposed By African American Museum

The statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee will soon be dissolved into a different form of artwork after a city council ruling, The Washington Post reports.

Known for being a leader in the American Civil War and a supporter of pro-slavery policies, Gen. Robert E. Lee was memorialized for his servitude in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the 1920s.

Charlottesville City Council decided to donate the remains of the statue to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center amid a competition of bidders who took interest in the artifact.

Charlottesville City Council voted 4-0 to melt down the 1,100-pound figure to the highest bidder willing to pay up to $100,000.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, a Black museum of history, chose to purchase the historical piece, refurbish its existence, and give new meaning to a “community-based shared project.”

“Our hope Sword into Plowshares is to create something that transforms what was once toxic in our public spaces into something beautiful and more reflective of our community’s social values,” Andrea Douglas, who helms as the executive director for the museum, said.

“It is a community-based project, that all of the voices of our community will be able to articulate what we want in our public spaces,” she continued.

Douglas said that in the progressive era that society is now witnessing, she welcomes groups to take away “a particular ideology that we[community] no longer share.”

A meeting is slated to take place on Monday, Dec. 20 in response to the remaining statues of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Sacagawea, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

Lee’s statute was originally taken down earlier this year after the monument served as a political influence in the deadly white supremacists “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.

James Alex Fields made headlines for his attack during the rally that killed 32-year-old Heather Heyer and wounded 19 others, CBS News reported. He was later convicted by a jury and sentenced to life in prison for his role.

Symbolic Confederate figures started to be removed in 2020 following nationwide protests against systemic racism, according to NPR.

After the killing of George Floyd and the outrage that followed, 168 monuments were taken down across the country.


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