The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that once stood in Charlottesville, Va., was secretly melted down at a secret ceremonial event.
The Washington Post reported that the statue was “secretly melted down” to become a new piece of public art. The so-called secretive ceremony was supposedly meant to ensure the safety of those involved.
The Washington Post reported that “Swords Into Plowshares,” a project led by University of Virginia religious studies professor Jalane Schmidt and Charlottesville’s Black history museum executive director Andrea Douglas, “will turn bronze ingots made from molten Lee into a new piece of public artwork to be displayed in Charlottesville. They made arrangements for Lee to be melted down while they started collecting ideas from city residents for that new sculpture.”
The Post went on to say that due to “past threats” and “worries about legal action” the project went to great lengths to keep itself secret until now. The article made note that Schmidt, “who directs the Memory Project at U-Va.’s Karsh Institute of Democracy, said she felt like she was preparing for an execution of sorts,” and quoted her comparing the destruction of the monument to putting down a rabid dog that has been harming people.
“Still, that dark feeling was better than carting Charlottesville’s ‘White supremacist toxic waste’ away to some other community,” The Post wrote.
A purported Christian, the United Methodist minister Rev. Isaac Collins delivered a sermon at the ceremony of the statue being destroyed and has previously declared that it is a sin to have monuments celebrating figures from the Confederacy (he did, he really said this).
On cue, NPR credited Swords Into Plowshares for its efforts to “create a more inclusive public art installation.”
Filed under History be damned, “We want to transform something that has been toxic in the Charlottesville community,” Schmidt said. “We want to transform it into a piece of art that the community can be proud of, and gather around and not feel excluded or intimidated.”
We should consult Leopold Bloom. The new art should be in the form of a giant kidney. That would be appropriate.