Museum suggests melting down Charlottesville Robert E. Lee statue

A museum in Virginia is proposing melting down a statue of Civil War General Robert E. Lee. 

Lee was the leader of the Confederate army during the Civil War. Statues of him around the U.S. have caused outrage, as he was fighting for the pro-slavery side. While some have already been torn down, some are proposing melting this one down.

The debate on what to do with Confederate statues in the South has been ongoing. This particular statue had been standing for nearly 100 years in Charlottesville, VA (Yahoo). Now, the city is trying to figure out what to do with it. Most of the statues that have been removed are sitting in storage. Executive Director Andrea Douglas of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center has raised $500,000 from donors in a bid to take the statue and melt it down.

The Washington Post reports that the museum would like to turn the statue into new art after melting it down. The bronze in the statue can be turned into new art which will decorate the city. The proposal serves as a way to “confront the past and help people better understand the past,” according to historian Gregory Downs at the University of California, Davis.

The city announced last month that it was searching for new owners for statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, who were both Confederate leaders. The statues were removed in July after years of debate on what to do with them. At the removal ceremony, Nikuyah Walker, the mayor of Charlottesville, said, “Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain.”




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