Posted on October 22, 2021

Museum Proposes Melting Lee Statue to Make New Artwork

Associated Press, October 21, 2021

A Virginia museum is proposing to melt down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017 in Charlottesville and create a new work of public art.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center submitted its proposal last week to Charlottesville’s city council and city manager, The Daily Progress reported. It outlines a plan to create the new work of art through a community engagement process and then give it to the city to be installed on public land.

The proposed project called “Swords Into Plowshares,” received almost 30 letters of support from organizations and individuals.

“Recontextualization is not enough,” the museum said in the proposal, stressing that wherever the statue goes, it would remain “an icon of violent white supremacy.”

The Memory Project at UVa’s Democracy Initiative, Open Society Foundations and Virginia Humanities have already pledged funding to the project totaling $590,000. The project is estimated to cost $1.1 million {snip}