Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Statue Will be Melted Down for New Artwork That ‘Expresses Inclusivity and Racial Justice’

The Charlottesville City Council decided on Monday to give a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to a local heritage center. The statue, which is bronze, will be melted down and converted into new artwork.

The city council debated Monday whether to sell the statue, gift it or keep it. Ultimately, the group voted 4-0 to donate it to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, which is located in Charlottesville.

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In its offer, submitted to the city council in October, the center said that it would melt down the statue and create “a new work of public art that expresses the City’s values of inclusivity and racial justice.”

“This transformation will be informed by a collaborative and democratic process of community engagement that prioritizes the voices of descendants of enslaved people, extending the dialogues on race that have occurred locally since 2010,” the offer read. “Using this statue’s melted bronze material in a new way will be a powerful symbol of social change.”

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SOURCE: CBS News, Sophie Reardon

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