Torched GRTC bus could soon end up in Virginia Museum of History and Culture


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — From the streets of Richmond to the confides of a historical museum.

The GRTC Pulse bus that was torched during the last weekend’s riots could soon end up in the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

The Virginia Museum of History and Culture says the burned GRTC bus would be an example of the high tensions we’re experiencing in Richmond and across the country – which is why they are hoping to add it to their collection.

8News has confirmed that a VMHC museum curator reached out to GRTC about possibly getting a piece of the bus.

“I think we could envision displaying a piece of that bus in displays that speak to the kind of boiling point our country has reached,” said Dr. Karen Sherry, a curator of museum collections.

The Virginia Museum of History & Culture. (File photo)

GRTC says the bus is part of an active investigation and insurance process, but once that’s concluded, a discussion could take place.

There is no timeline on how long the probe will take, however.

GRTC said on Saturday, May 30 that Pulse bus 2004 was set on fire during protests in downtown Richmond at the intersection of W. Broad Street and Belvidere Street.

The engulfed vehicle was deemed a total loss and is estimated to cost the transit company about $475,000. No one was injured.

The museum hopes to gather a collection of items that represent a diverse array of experiences and perspectives from this week’s protests.

“We’re collecting protest signs and if anybody has materials perhaps a rubber bullet or some other item that was left behind after one of the protests or one of the altercations with police, I think those items can be very powerfully elegant artifacts,” Dr. Sherry said. “We would also like to collect peoples’ photographs, their images, and their own personal stories and experiences of how they have been participating or how they’ve been experiencing the protests of the past week and maybe also some of the events and experiences that have led up to these recent protests.”

In a year marked by moments that will go down in the country’s history, the museum is thinking about what future generations will want to see when they look back at the year 2020.

“We’re seeing unprecedented phenomena in the global pandemic,” said Dr. Sherry, “and we’re seeing new levels of civic unrest over issues of police brutality and systemic racism that has been plaguing our country for centuries.”

Click here for more information on how to donate any historic documentation or artifacts to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

8News reporter Sierra Fox will have a full report on 8News at 11 p.m.

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