The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that once provoked a deadly weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, will be melted down and turned into a new piece of public artwork, following a vote by city lawmakers early Tuesday morning.
The city had for months been searching for a new owner for the 1,100-pound monument, which served as the focal point of the white-supremacist Unite the Right rally in 2017. After the city took the statue down over the summer, six proposals on what to do with it were submitted by arts groups, historical societies or individuals, some offering to pay the city as much as $50,000 for the bronze sculpture.
But the Charlottesville City Council voted 4 to 0 to hand it over to the only local bidder: the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, a Black-led museum that proposed repurposing the metal entirely.
Called “Swords Into Plowshares,” the project “will allow Charlottesville to contend with its racist past,” Andrea Douglas, the museum’s executive director, said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “It really is about taking something that had been harmful and transforming it into something that is representative of the city’s values today.”... Read More: Washington Post