By David Knowels | 7 December 2021
YAHOO! NEWS — The 1,100-pound bronze statue of Robert E. Lee that was at the center of a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., will soon be melted down and repurposed into a new public artwork.
A proposal by the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center was accepted Tuesday by the Charlottesville City Council. Titled “Swords Into Ploughshares,” the project will see Lee’s statue re-created into an entirely new form following input from the community.
The center’s executive director, Andrea Douglas, said in a video that the goal of the project is “to create something that transforms what was once toxic in our public space into something beautiful and more reflective of our entire community’s social values.”
In February 2017, the city of Charlottesville voted to remove statues of Lee and Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson. In protest, a group of white supremacists organized an Aug. 11-12 rally called “Unite the Right,” which saw white nationalists marching through Lee Park and the campus of the University of Virginia chanting, “Jews will not replace us.” […]