RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – This week, Gov. Ralph Northam announced the artifacts for the new time capsule, crafted by Richmond sculpture Paul DePasquale, which will be paced in the concrete pedestal of Richmond’s Lee Monument.
Historians believe a copper time capsule was placed in the cornerstone of the Lee pedestal on Oct. 27, 1887.
Records from the Library of Virginia suggest that 37 Richmond residents, organizations and business contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, many of which are believed to be related to the Confederacy.
While the statue itself was removed on Wednesday, the original time capsule will be removed on Thursday and handed over to the Department of Historical Resources.
The new time capsule will then be put in the same place in the statue’s base, as that will remain for the time being.
Should it be removed later, the time capsule will be buried nearby.
“This monument and its time capsule reflected Virginia in 1890—and it’s time to remove both, so that our public spaces better reflect who we are as a people in 2021. The past 18 months have seen historic change, from the pandemic to protests for racial justice that led to the removal of these monuments to a lost cause. It is fitting that we replace the old time capsule with a new one that tells that story.”Gov. Ralph Northam
Artifacts for the new time capsule were suggested by members of the public and narrowed down to 39 final choices by a committee that included historians from the Richmond region’s leading historical and cultural museums and members of the governor’s cabinet.
The artifacts are intended to reflect the cultural moment in the history of Virginia and the nation.
In the past year-and-a-half, Virginia has faced a global pandemic and a deep reckoning with racism.
Protests for racial justice, sparked by the death of George Floyd, led to the removal of statues originally placed to memorialize those who fought to continue a way of life that enslaved other human beings.
The artifacts are a snapshot of that moment in time, capturing both the protests of last year and the pandemic which includes a vaccination card, a photo of a Black ballerina in front of the statue, a Black Lives Matter sticker, a face mask and a poem written in Unified English Braille.
A full list of items to be included in the time capsule can be found below.
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