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Six Parties Bid Up to $100,000 for Lee and Jackson Statues

The removal of this confederate monument is not the end of the story.
The removal of this confederate monument is not the end of the story.

Six parties have expressed interest in Charlottesville’s unwanted statues, among them a guy from Utopia, Texas who offered the city $20,000 for Lee and Jackson, a private foundation in Tazewell, Virginia bidding $50,000, and an art museum in Santa Monica, California willing to spend $100,000. The TransAllegheny Lunatic Asylum – a museum in West Virginia -- said it would pay $1,000 for Jackson alone, and the statuary garden at Gettysburg wants both sculptures but offers no cash.

Here in Charlottesville the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center would like the Lee statue. Its executive director, Andrea Douglas, says it plans to destroy the sculpture and wouldn’t pay the city anything.

“Our proposal, which we’re calling Swords into Plowshares, will allow us to melt it down into ingots that can then be transformed into a new piece of art that is more representative of the values of our community today,” she explains.

Douglas says her group would hold a series of public meetings to explore ideas for a new statue and would then ask for proposals from artists. The Center hopes to raise more than a million dollars to melt the bronze, hire a sculptor and donate the finished work for public display in Charlottesville.

To hear our full interview with Andrea Douglas:

Sandy Hausman's interview with Andrea Douglas, Executive Director of the Jefferson School African-American Cultural Center

Sandy Hausman is Radio IQ's Charlottesville Bureau Chief