Charlottesville receives over 20 requests for Confederate statues

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A total of 23 people and organizations from 12 different states have reached out regarding potential ownership of the Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson statues.

NBC29 was able to chat with four of the organizations that expressed interest in taking the statues of the Confederate generals.

“Those sculptures have been up for 100 years, they’ve been talking for 100 years, and it’s time for another story,” LAXART Director Hamza Walker said.

Walker says these statues would become the centerpiece of an exhibition based around the removal of Confederate statues stemming from the Unite the Right rally in 2017.

“Eyes will be on you again, except this time it won’t be about tragedy, it will instead be about transformation,” he said.

Joe Kuveikis believes the statues would be well served on his Ogletree Estates.

“You can’t erase history and statues like this are part of history,” Kuveikis said. “There’s a lot of people who lost loved ones in the Civil War, and the Civil War existed, you just can’t erase it, and so you have to embrace history, learn from it.”

Then there’s Rick Richards in Florida, who wants to make sure these statues aren’t sold as scrap metal.

“There’s historic value there, there’s artistic value there, and that needs to be preserved,” he said.

Richards believes there’s lessons to be learned from monuments to Lee and Jackson: “They should remind people of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and what we shouldn’t do in the future.”

Another group that has inquired about the monuments is the Gettysburg Sculpture Museum, which hopes to house monuments that are no longer wanted in communities.

“It’s not a homage to these monuments, rather many of these monuments actually have artistic value created by some of the leading sculptors of the day, and so that’s one aspect to be preserved,” Gettysburg Sculpture Museum President Thomas Donohoe said.

There have also been 11 inquires regarding the Lewis & Clark statue, and that decision is being handled separately from the Lee and Jackson statues.

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