JSAAHC weighs in on Lee statue lawsuit

Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 11:53 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A lawsuit is looking to block the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center from modifying the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that used to sit in a Charlottesville park.

“This is not a lawsuit against the Heritage Center, we are just named in the lawsuit. This lawsuit is about the City of Charlottesville and the process the city used that would then allow us to acquire the statute,” Doctor Andrea Douglas said.

The Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation filed the lawsuit, claiming the city’s process in giving away the statue was flawed.

“We are presently in possession of something they think they have a right to,” Douglas said.

The Washington Post reports that court documents say the Lee statue has been disassembled.

“We’re in the fifth anniversary of what happen in 2017,” Douglas said. “The Robert E. Lee statue was the sight of violence. Was not only the location of violence, but the symbol of that violence.”

JSAAHC wants to repurpose the bronze from the statue.

“We will take those objects of violence and turn them into something useful,” Douglas said. “Our interest in this Robert E. Lee statue is about healing Charlottesville and giving Charlottesville an opportunity to determine what that looks like for themselves.”

Plans for that are said to still be in the process. Douglas says JSAAHC wants to invite artists to create something based on ideas from the community.

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