Plans to melt down Robert E. Lee statue on hold while lawsuit plays out

The fight over whether to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from a Charlottesville, Virginia, park has morphed into one about what form the now-toppled replica should take.

The statue has been taken down and has been cut into pieces already, but The Washington Post reported the museum it was donated to — the Black-led Jefferson School African American Heritage Center — is holding off on plans to repurpose it while a lawsuit plays out.

The city voted in December to donate the statue to the Heritage Center, which had plans to melt down the bronze and create another piece of public art.

The Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation and the Ratcliffe Foundation are accusing the City of Charlottesville of trying to erase history. The Jefferson School director told The Post the city is trying to heal, but that others are trying to dictate how they do so.

Nearly five years ago, Charlottesville was the site of a deadly white nationalist rally sparked over the removal of Confederate statues from city parks.

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