An African-American museum has proposed melting down a statue of Robert E. Lee that was recently taken down in Charlottesville, and then using the bronze material to create new artwork that could be put on public display in the city.
The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s bid for the sculpture comes after Charlottesville officials said in September that they were seeking new owners for statues of Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, another Confederate war leader. Donors had committed $500,000 for the proposal, said Jefferson School executive director Andrea Douglas.
The Lee monument, which has been a rallying symbol for White supremacists, was at the center of a deadly weekend of violence in 2017. Months after Charlottesville officials voted to remove the Confederate iconography, far-right activists held a demonstration in the city, to protest the statues’ planned dismantlement. White nationalists clashed with counterprotesters and a neo-Nazi drove a car through the crowd, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
Doing as much as possible to rub it in the face of people so awful as to defend a statue of Robert E. Lee in 2021 is basically what I am for.