RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that he plans to replace a 134-year-old time capsule sealed in the pedestal foundation of the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond.
According to records from the Library of Virginia, 37 Richmond residents, organizations, and businesses contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, many of which were related to the Confederacy.
Northam is now asking Virginians to donate artifacts that “represent the Commonwealth of today.”
The governor said the new capsule will be installed in the site when the Lee statue is removed. However, at this time, the state has not been given definitive permission to remove the statue.
“It’s time to say to the world, this is today’s Virginia, not yesterday’s,” Gov. Northam said. “And one day, when future generations look back at this moment, they will be able to learn about the inclusive, welcoming Commonwealth that we are building together. I encourage Virginians to be part of this unique effort to tell our shared story.”
Northam’s administration said that earlier this year, Historic Jamestown, an entity of Preservation Virginia, conducted a scan of the pedestal. They discovered a void in the base where the time capsule is most likely placed.
“The Department of General Services analyzed the results of the scan and concluded that the time capsule can be removed and replaced without damaging the fidelity of the structure,” the Northam administration said in a release.
When the capsule is removed, its contents will be appropriately treated and held at the Department of Historic Resources’ conservation lab.
If you are interested in participating, fill out this questionnaire. Submissions will be collected for one month, through Tuesday, July 20.