A Virginia museum wants to melt down Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue and transform it into public art

An African American historical museum in Virginia is throwing its hat in the mix to turn what was once a daunting reminder of the country’s Confederate past and in recent years, 暴力, into a public display of art.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center in Charlottesville has submitted an offer to the City Council for its recently removed Confederate Gen. 罗伯特·E. Lee statue.
Several cities have made moves to remove contentious Confederate statues after becoming the subject of nationwide debate over the years. And it flared up in Charlottesville specifically after white nationalists marched in 2017 to protest the removal of the same Lee statue, 和一个 counterprotester was killed amid violent clashes between demonstrators.
      After their removal though, most of the statues were placed in storage facilities with no permanent relocation.
        多于 160 Confederate symbols came down 去年, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
          After obtaining ownership, the Jefferson center plans to melt down the statue and commission an artist to create new art from the bronze material, 根据新闻稿. After the work is completed, the new art would be offered to the City of Charlottesville for public installation.

          Four years after deadly rally, Charlottesville ‘Unite the Righttrial begins

          The civil trial against the organizers of the “团结右翼” rally in is set to start Monday to decide whether organizers had predetermined the event would turn violent.
          原告, who include town residents and counterprotesters injured in two days of clashes in August 2017, contend the organizers of the rally engaged in a conspiracy. 的 10 individuals are seekingcompensatory and statutorydamages for physical and emotional injuries they suffered.
          The rally organizers chose Charlottesville so the debate and protest around the statues could serve as a catalyst for a race and religious war, the complaint reads. White supremacists, neo-Nazis, along with groups such as the Proud Boys and the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, were in the city for events in May, June and July 2017.

          Inviting input from the descendents of the enslaved

          Two hours after the Lee statue was removed July 10, a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas J. “StonewallJackson was also removed from Court Square Park.
          The Lee and Jackson statues were commissioned in 1917 和 1919 分别, by Paul G. McIntire, a Charlottesville graduate of the University of Virginia, 根据 University of Virginia School of Law. The Jackson statue was unveiled on October 19, 1921, according to the school. 在5月 21, 1924, Lee’s statue was unveiled.
          At the time of removal, the city said it was looking for a new home for the statues at a museum, military battlefield or historical society.
          The Jefferson center’s mission isto honor and preserve the rich heritage and legacy of the African American community of Charlottesville/Albemarle, Virginia and to promote a greater appreciation for and understanding of, the contributions of African Americans and peoples of the Diaspora,” its website says.
          Their proposal titledSwords Into Plowsharesintendsto invite input from the descendents of enslaved persons,” 根据新闻稿, “with the engagement process beginning in 2022, the 120th anniversary of Virginia’s 1902 state constitution which entrenched Jim Crow rule.
          ‘Swords Into Plowsharesis Charlottesville’s opportunity to lead by creating a road map that can be followed by other communities that wish to impact history,” 博士. Douglas said. “It’s our hope that our entire community will embrace this defining moment.
          Throughout the week, the proposal has garnered support, Andrea Douglas, executive director of the Jefferson center told CNN Friday.
          six other proposals the city is looking at for for one or both Confederate statues, Brian Wheeler, spokesperson for the City of Charlottesville told CNN.
            So far the proposal has raised $ 500,000 in funding commitments through local, state and national arts and advocacy organizations.
            The Charlottesville City Council and its City Manager have until January 12 to consider the offers, a news release said.