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Efforts begin to open 1887 time capsule found under Robert E. Lee statue

Crews working to remove the pedestal where a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee stood over Richmond for more than 100 years believe they’ve found a time capsule which was buried there in 1887.

The bronze statue of Lee, which was erected in 1890, was taken down in September, more than a year after Gov. Ralph Northam ordered its removal after protests over racism and police brutality erupted across the country following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Historical preservation experts in Virginia have begun efforts to open the time capsule. Chelsea Blake, a conservator with Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources, began slowly chipping away at the capsule at around 10 a.m., news station WSLS reported.

But efforts were hampered as they encountered corrosion around the rectangular capsule, which is about the size of a large shoebox.

“It appears that the lid was placed on and then there was lead rolled over it to hold it in place and then water got in there and there was corrosion so it’s becoming a little more difficult than it would have been to get on,” said Blake, as she pressed a vibrating tool with a hard metal tip against the capsule.

The time capsule is believed to have been under Robert Lee’s statue for over 130 years.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: YORK NEWS TIME

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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