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Robert E. Lee monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, melted down to make new statue

Statue was at the center of a 2017 controversy in which local governments in Virginia wanted to remove Confederate monuments including Lee's

Published: October 27, 2023 9:56am

The massive bronze sculpture of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, has been melted down and will be transformed into a new piece of public art. 

The statue was at the center of a 2017 controversy in which local governments in Virginia wanted to remove Confederate monuments including Lee's. In August 2017, a white supremacist rally in connection to the proposed removal resulted in the three people dying and multiple injuries. 

The Lee statue was removed in July of 2021. 

"We want to transform something that has been toxic in the Charlottesville community," University of Virginia religious studies professor Jalane Schmidt told NPR. "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."

Organizers in charge of transforming the statue are looking for an artist who will craft the new art form. 

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