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(Politics) – A statue of a US Civil War general for the pro-slavery Confederacy that became the focus of protests for racial justice has been melted down in secret, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
The towering bronze statue of General Robert E. Lee, who commanded the Army of Northern Virginia during the bloody 1861-65 conflict, was removed in July 2021 from a public park in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Post said the statue, which had been handed over to the city’s Black history museum, was melted down on Saturday at a foundry whose location is being kept secret.
Tensions over the fate of the Lee statue led to violence in August 2017 when an avowed white nationalist drove his car into a crowd of demonstrators in Charlottesville.
The protesters had gathered in opposition to white supremacists who staged a “Unite the Right” rally against plans to remove the statue of Lee.
Then-president Donald Trump came under fire when he said afterward that there were “very fine people on both sides” of the protests.
The Charlottesville violence gave new life to a campaign to remove Confederate symbols which first gained momentum following…