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Robert E. Lee Confederate Statue in Charlottesville Melted Down

Foundry workers cut the statue into pieces so it would fit in their furnace. Photo: Courtesy of Swords into Plowshares/Eze Amos

The statue met its end at an undisclosed location in a 2,250-degree furnace.

What’s happening: A casting of Robert E. Lee that presided over downtown Charlottesville for nearly a century has been reduced to bronze ingots.

A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was melted down at a secret ceremony, part of a project called Swords into Plowshares. 

Plans to remove the statue sparked the Unite the Right rally in 2017, and the removal was completed four years later. A team from the University of Virginia and a local museum created the plan to melt the statue into bronze ingots and create a new piece of public art.

The plan was kept quiet in order to avoid “threats and legal action,” according to one report.
Lee statue
Workers remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee after years of a legal battle over the contentious monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, on July 10, 2021. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

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