Confederate portrait inside hotel sparks debate

Confederate portrait inside hotel sparks debate

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The portrait of a Confederate leader inside a Chesterfield hotel is sparking some debate.

It wasn’t the average stay at a hotel Olga Mirmanova was expecting.

“That made me immediately feel uncomfortable,” Mirmanova said.

The Fredricksburg resident was in Richmond for a business trip and says she got an unexpected surprise.

“As I walk into the room, I saw a statue of J.E.B Stewart on the wall,” Mirmanova said.

It was the portrait of a Confederate leader inside her room at the DoubleTree by Hilton, near the Chesterfield Town Center, that Olga said offended her.

(Source: Olga Mirmanova)
(Source: Olga Mirmanova)

“Hilton presents themselves as a chain that has hospitality, so for me, it was like they aren’t showing hospitality because they are supposed to be neutral,” she said.

It wasn’t just Mirmanova, another recent guest complained by leaving a review online. At least five others have spoken out on the issue in just the past six months.

Hotel management released the following statement:

“Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Richmond-Midlothian is very proud to be apart of the Richmond community. Inspired by the cities rich history the hotel features artwork depicting local Richmond scenes and landmarks.”

It’s no secret Richmond has a complicated past with the Confederacy. Hotel management said the property was renovated a few years ago and that’s when the company in charge of decorating added the artwork.

Mirmanova said she doesn’t just want the paintings removed but better training for staff.

“Do they have diversity on their leadership team? Because I would assume if they had diversity on the team, you aren’t going to have these issues,” Mirmanova said.

Management said they will consider removing the portraits in the future when they renovate the property again.

As for future trips back to Richmond, Mirmanova says she has found somewhere else to stay.

“No, no. This time I didn’t stay and I cancelled my reservations,” she said.

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