What Should Happen to Confederate Statues? A City Auctions One for $1.4 MillionBreaking News
tags: Confederacy, Confederate statues
It happened by city decree in the dark of night, or by civic demand at the hands of protesters. When the movement to reckon with Confederate symbols swept the nation, monuments that had long stood in city parks and on college campuses were suddenly dismantled.
There was often no clear plan for the future, and few long-term solutions have emerged.
“They end up in warehouses and people don’t really know what to do with them,” said Heidi Beirich, who leads the intelligence project for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which estimates that at least 114 Confederate symbols have been removed from public spaces since 2015.
Now, one city has settled on an unusual answer: Sell the statue to the highest bidder.
Dallas, unable to find a suitable new home for a bronze statue of Robert E. Lee on horseback that had sat in a city park until 2017, recently sent the artifact to an online auction. It sold for more than $1.4 million, with one crucial condition: The statue cannot be displayed publicly in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
The auction is among the first of its kind since the movement to remove Confederate monuments picked up speed, first in 2015, after a white supremacist killed nine black congregants at a church in Charleston, S.C., and then in 2017, when a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., led to the death of a counterprotester.
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