RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The Edward Valentine Sculpture Studio will unveil a temporary exhibit of the Jefferson Davis statue.
The exhibit will be officially unveiled at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, and be open to the public an hour later at 10 a.m.
The Davis statue was erected in 1907 and used to stand on Monument Avenue until it was pulled down by protesters on June 10, 2020 as part of the George Floyd protests.
After it was taken down, the statue was donated to the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia (BHMVA) by the City of Richmond. The Valentine, whose first president created the Davis statue, will be loaning the statue for at least six months from the BHMVA.
“This is a critical time to have a conversation about our shared history and light the path forward,” Valentine Director Bill Martin said. “We want to create a safe space for people to learn, be challenged and confront their assumptions and biases about Richmond’s troubling past.”
A survey of Richmond community members by the Valentine showed that 80% of respondents want to see Confederate monuments in museums with appropriate context, rather than displayed in public spaces and destroyed.
To give all members of the Richmond community an opportunity to participate in the exhibit, the Valentine will offer free admission every Wednesday as long as the statute is on display.
“This is an important opportunity for Richmonders to process both our recent and past history, and continue the dialogue about how we move from a Confederate past and the Lost Cause, to a righteous cause that realizes an inclusive and equitable future,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said.