Richmond's Robert E. Lee statue will transfer to town's Black Historical past Museum

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Crews take away the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond on Sept. 8. Pending metropolis council approval, the statue and eight different Accomplice monuments will probably be moved to Richmond’s Black Historical past Museum. Steve Helber/AP disguise caption

Crews take away the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond on Sept. 8. Pending metropolis council approval, the statue and eight different Accomplice monuments will probably be moved to Richmond’s Black Historical past Museum.

The large statue of Accomplice Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Va., taken down in September, will probably be moved to town’s Black Historical past Museum, Gov. Ralph Northam and Mayor Levar Stoney introduced Thursday.

The Black Historical past Museum and Cultural Heart of Virginia will take the 21-foot-tall statue of Lee and the pedestal it stood on, which turned a rallying level for protests in opposition to police brutality in the summertime of 2020. Eight different Accomplice statues that have been eliminated across the metropolis will even be moved to the museum.

« Symbols matter, and for too lengthy, Virginia’s most outstanding symbols celebrated our nation’s tragic division and the aspect that fought to maintain alive the establishment of slavery by any means potential, » Northam stated in an announcement offered to NPR.

« Now it is going to be as much as our considerate museums, knowledgeable by the individuals of Virginia, to find out the way forward for these artifacts, together with the bottom of the Lee Monument which has taken on particular significance as protest artwork. »

The museum will associate with The Valentine, town’s oldest museum, to get enter from the group on how the statues needs to be displayed. Earlier than any of that may occur, nonetheless, the plan nonetheless wants approval from town council.

The choice on what to do with its statues is a component of a bigger nationwide dialog on eradicating, changing and renaming Accomplice symbols — and questioning what remembering historical past seems to be like in a public house.

Richmond was capital of the Confederacy for a lot of the Civil Conflict, from 1861 till 1865. And Virginia as soon as had probably the most Accomplice statues within the nation.

In Charlottesville, Va., town council not too long ago determined its statue of Lee — the proposed elimination of which helped spark the lethal Unite the Proper rally in 2017 — will probably be melted down and become a public artwork piece, a challenge that will probably be led by the Jefferson Faculty African American Heritage Heart on the town.

Andrea Douglas, the middle’s government director, informed NPR she hopes Charlottesville’s plans will assist information what different cities do with their Accomplice monuments.

« Can we create one thing that defines the group within the twenty first century? What does Charlottesville need to be? We describe ourselves as a metropolis that believes in fairness, that believes in social justice, so what does that appear like in a public house? » Douglas requested.

« That is actually not about erasing historical past. It is about taking historical past and transferring ahead, » she stated.

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