Tue. May 28th, 2024

The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that was at the center of the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., was secretly melted down last week to be remade into a more inclusive artwork.

The bronze equestrian statue of Lee, which featured prominently in the 2017 Unite the Right rally, was incinerated in a 2,250-degree furnace Saturday, according to the Washington Post.

It was cut into nine pieces, weighed about 6,000 pounds and required a forklift to move.

It was melted down and then molded into a brick-like casting.

The controversial statue had been removed from its spot in 2021 and placed in a bus depot until it was handed over to the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, which had to move the artwork to various locations over safety concerns.

A lawsuit emerged six years ago, which prohibited the museum from melting the statue.

A judge later dismissed the case and the 30-day window for an appeal expired Thursday, the Washington Post reported.


The statue of Robert E. Lee that stood in Charlottesville was incinerated in a 2,250-degree furnace Saturday.AFP via Getty Images

The violent 2017 rally killed Heather Heyer, 32, and injured 35 others after a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters.

The driver, who hit two other cars, was going about 40 mph when he rammed into the crowd on purpose.

Among those who attended were KKK members as well alt-right and white nationalists supporters.

Hundreds of counter-protesters also attended.

Protesters hurled punches, plastic bottles, and sprayed chemical irritants on each other.


It was cut into nine pieces and was about 6,000 pounds of bronze, which required a forklift to move.AFP via Getty Images

But Charlottesville’s black history museum went forward with their melting plans at a foundry outside of the state last week and there’s no plans to recast the metal into cannons, as some confederacy groups proposed.

Andrea Douglas and Jalane Schmidt – who run Swords into Plowshares – plan on taking the bronze and remake into something that city residents come up with.

They’ve already started getting ideas from residents, the Washington Post said.

Schmidt was happy to see Lee go, saying the statue was like “if there’s a rabid dog in the neighborhood that’s been hurting people, and it needs to be euthanized.”

However, one of the foundrymen, who was not named, said he hopes the melting doesn’t “convey a message of hate on hate.”

The group had a hard time finding someone that would melt down the metal and the foundry they did use is owned by a black man.

“The risk is being targeted by people of hate, having my business damaged, having threats to family and friends, [but] when you are approached with such an honor, especially to destroy hate, you have to do it,” the owner told the outlet.

Lee was a general in the Civil War who led the Army of Northern Virginia – one of the most successful Confederal forces.

He would eventually go on to lead all the Confederate forces.

Despite losing the war, he became a symbol of the American South.

Other Confederate statues have met their demise as well, including in New York City and at West Point.

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The post Charlottesville statue of Robert E. Lee secretly melted down 6 years after deadly rally appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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