Take ‘Em Down Cville and Visible Records support Jefferson School proposal to melt Lee statue into new art

Charlottesville's Robert E Lee statue is lifted off its pedestal
Charlottesville's Robert E Lee statue is lifted off its pedestal(WVIR)
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Take ‘Em Down Cville, an activist group who lobbied for Charlottesville to take control of and take down its Confederate statues, is supporting the melting of the Robert E. Lee statue.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center proposed the statue be melted into a new art piece called “Swords Into Plowshares.”

“The goal is to not just send this statue away, or to stuff it into a closet or storage, but rather to take these materials and transform them into something new that expresses our communities democratic values and be able to tell the entire story,” said Jalane Schmidt, the director of UVA Democracy Initiative’s Memory Project.

Now, Visible Records is offering up space for an artist to reconstruct the work for the center.

“We think its high time that Charlottesville made an investment in a new kind of public art that uplifts the stories of those who have been harmed in our past public artworks,” said Kendall King, a co-director with Visible Records.

The community would have a say on who the artist would be, as well as what the new piece would look like.

Charlottesville City Council has about 90 days to determine who will get ownership of the statue.

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