CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WVIR) - Those working to preserve two Confederate statues in downtown Charlottesville are perplexed about a lack of information from authorities.
A reward is being offered to find the people who vandalized the statues of General Robert E. Lee in Market Street Park and General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson in Court Square Park numerous times, however the city isn't widely sharing that information.
The Jackson statue was vandalized twice in October, with granite chipped away from the decorative pedestal. The pedestal for the statue of Lee has been hit with graffiti multiple times, and also has seen some chipping.
The reward – currently at $2,000 - is being offered through CrimeStoppers, and has been available for about a week. An announcement about any reward normally comes from the Charlottesville Police Department, which we’ve not seen yet.
"I'm a little puzzled as to why the police department, which would clearly have an interest in solving crimes around here, has not yet made any kind of announcement. It's kind of puzzling," Monument Fund Spokesperson Buddy Weber said.
The Monument Fund - a Charlottesville-based nonprofit- claims both statues need roughly $10,000 each in repairs.
Police have no suspects at this time, and did not provide comment for this report.
"I wish the city would be more forthcoming about what efforts are being made to try to find out who is responsible for the vandalism," Weber said.
The spokesperson says he hopes politics aren't at play by keeping the reward money information from the public.
“Even if they want to see the statues gone, I would think that they would want to uphold the traditions of America, where the rule of law does prevail," Weber said.
The Monument Fund, Weber, and others were plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Charlottesville over actions by then-members of City Council to remove the two statues. A judge sided with the plaintiffs, ruling that the Lee and Jackson statues are war monuments, and thus protected by state code.
Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 434-977-4000.