Charlottesville’s Lee statue to be melted down for new art

Virginia News

FILE – The statue of Robert E. Lee is seen uncovered in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va., on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Charlottesville said in a news release Friday, July 9, 2021, that the equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as well as a nearby one of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will be taken down Saturday. (Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that drew violent protests to Charlottesville, will be melted down and made into new art.

The city decided to donate the bronze statue to an African American heritage center after a council meeting that stretched into Tuesday morning.

The “Swords Into Plowshares” plan to create public art with the melted-down metal is supported by groups of people descended from slaves at the University of Virginia and Monticello.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s director, Andrea Douglas, says they hope to transform something that was toxic into something beautiful.

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