What to do with removed Confederate statues? Baltimore seeks ideas

After tearing down a number of Confederate monuments in the middle of the night last month, Baltimore wants public feedback on what they should do with the monuments.

WASHINGTON — The City of Baltimore, Maryland, is asking the public for help in deciding what should be done with a number of Confederate and controversial monuments that crews tore down in the middle of the night earlier this month.

“We’ve got several issues to address, including where they ultimately will end up,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday.

The monuments are currently sitting in storage.

A task force is looking into where the statues should go and what should be done to replace them. The panel is chaired by the city’s deputy chief of strategic alliances Colin Tarbert.

“The committee has gotten several inquiries in reference to wanting the statues,” said Pugh.

Potential locations for the monuments include museums or cemeteries.

Members of the public can submit comments and testimony to the committee and they can also suggest ideas for how to replace the monuments.

“I’m not sure how quickly all of this takes place,” Pugh said. “There will be public meetings around this as well.”

The first meeting is set for Sept. 17.

Baltimore officials tore down four statues in a matter of hours very early in the morning on Aug. 16.

Three of them were Confederate monuments — a women’s monument, a statue for soldiers and sailors and the Lee and Jackson Monument. The fourth was of Roger Taney, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to black people.

Pugh said it cost the city less than $20,000 to remove them all.

She ordered the monuments to come down after the chaotic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, when white nationalists clashed violently with counter-protesters. The incident centered around efforts to remove a monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Since then, more cities and states nationwide have called for tearing down statues of Confederate symbols.

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