Black Museum Wants to Melt Charlottesville’s Robert E. Lee Statue to Create New Art

Four years ago, the Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Va., was at the heart of a violent white supremacist rally that left a counterprotester dead.

Now, a museum dedicated to Black culture and history has put forward a new proposal: Melt the statue down and use the bronze to create new works of public art.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s proposal, titled “Swords into Plowshares,” calls for commissioning an artist-in-residence to create the new artworks, which would be gifted to the city of Charlottesville upon completion.