‘It Felt Like An Execution’: Organization Secretly Melts Down Robert E. Lee Statue


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A historic statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, a monument that had previously stood in Charlottesville, Virginia, for nearly a century, was secretly melted at a foundry over the weekend, The Washington Post reported.

The melting project, officially named “Swords into Plowshares,” was organized by the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, a Charlottesville non-profit organization, and had received approval from the city’s council in 2021. Upon completion of the melting process, the molten metal was poured into oblong brass block molds, The Guardian reported

“It felt like an execution,” Jalane Schmidt, co-founder of Charlottesville Black Lives Matter, said, according to The Guardian.(RELATED: Charlottesville Topples Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson Statues Following Years Of Debate) 

The project’s next step will involve soliciting artist proposals for a public art installation created from the brass of the Lee statue. Their goal is to install the new public art piece by August 2027, the outlet noted. 

In 2017, The Monument Fund, Inc., and the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc., sued Charlottesville and the Charlottesville City Council for the city’s action to remove the monument. Public opinion was overwhelmingly against the removal of Lee’s statue, with 87.3% of respondents opposing the move.

“Our culture is being destroyed and our history and heritage, both good and bad, are being extinguished by the Radical Left, and we can’t let that happen!” former President Donald Trump said in 2021. (RELATED: ‘Our Culture Is Being Destroyed’: Trump Blasts The Removal Of The Robert E. Lee Statue) 

The melting follows the recent replacement of a stained-glass window depicting Lee in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., with an image depicting disabled racial activists. In Virginia, the Shenandoah County School Board opted to restore the names of schools named after Lee, and Confederate Generals Stonewall Jackson and Turner Ashby after having previously changed the names following the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, the Daily Mail reported.