Crowd withstands delay, rainy conditions for ‘Rumors of War’ unveiling

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The conditions in Richmond on Tuesday did not deter a crowd of at least 1,000 people from attending the unveiling of artist Kehinde Wiley’s monumental sculpture “Rumors of War” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

A delay in the ceremony took place after the sheet covering the sculpture got snagged during the unveiling. Onlookers waited during the momentary setback as a firefighter climbed a ladder to cut the sheet off the monument.

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about ‘Rumors of War’ unveiling

Unlike other monuments in the capital, the massive bronze sculpture from Wiley depicts a black man with dreadlocks and a modern look of ripped jeans and Nike’s atop a horse. The muse for Wiley was Najee Wilson.

The monument, initially placed in Times Square, can be seen from the newly named Arthur Ashe Boulevard, just a few blocks from Monument Avenue.

Wiley, Gov. Ralph Northam and Mayor Levar Stoney spoke at the unveiling ceremony.

“Power wielded correctly can be a thing of beauty,” Wiley said when he addressed the crowd. “And I think what we want here tonight is to be able to honor when those moments of power can be and correctly held in the hands of someone who creates rather than someone who destroys.”

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