Proposal calls for taking apart Confederate statue, send proceeds to Richmond schools

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — A private proposal sent to city hall calls for cutting the Stonewall Jackson Confederate statue–or another–into pieces, and proceeds from their sale would be sent to Richmond schools. 

The proposal, submitted by Connecticut-based artists David Anthone and Ron Norsworthy, is the latest known acquisition offer for the city’s confederate monuments after the city council voted to formally remove them in early August.

A self-billed “Confederate heritage organization” in Tennessee said they have also put in a bid to acquire the statues.

On the Jackson statue rendering, “we use that as an example but we are really open to actually any of the Confederate monuments that would be available,” Norsworthy told 8News.

How DARNstudio proposes breaking up the statue.

So, why break apart a Confederate statue? The pair, collaborators of ‘DARNstudio,’ say it would provide an opportunity to teach and contextualize these divisive figures. 

“That could really sparked a whole other benefit for a group of people, in this case children that you know, you don’t need computers or scholarships, textbooks,” Anthone said of the decision to send proceeds of the sold statue pieces back to Richmond and its public school system.

Richmond City Council Chief of Staff Lawrence Anderson said an upwards of 20 offers have made to the city to acquire the city’s now-removed Confederate monuments, which include the likeness’ of Jefferson Davis, J.E.B. Stuart, and  Matthew Fontaine Maury–a stat to A.P. Hill remains standing.

Vandalism on the Stonewall Jackson monument.

During an interview Tuesday, 8News reporter Ben Dennis asked the pair what they had to say to people who did not wish Confederate statues to come down, and now they are hearing about a proposal to divide the statues–literally.

“We think the proposal actually respects the monument in a way,” Norsworthy said.

“I think it’s to get beyond that argument and to see that our solution, actually, or the way that we are treating this sculpture is to keep it not necessarily intact, but to create artifacts out of it so that you can have a piece of it the same way you know, when the Berlin wall came down you could have a brick from the Berlin wall,” he continued.

The proposal does call for consultation with historic preservation offices. Plus, the pair said no parties would be excluded from possibly getting their hands on a piece of a statue–family members with connections to the statues, schools, and museums are all included. 

Anderson said a preliminary update on these proposals may be shared October 5 during an “Organizational Development Meeting, with final recommendations presented to council in November,” to consider state acquisition proposals. 

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