New capsule installed at base that held up Robert E. Lee statue
Workers in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday installed a time capsule on current events in a pedestal that held a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee until its removal last week, AP first reported.
Why it matters: Civil rights advocates say such symbols pay deference to the U.S. history of slavery and racism. The capsule contains items related to anti-racism demonstrations that erupted after George Floyd's death in 2020, officials told AP.
Details: Among the items installed in the pedestal is a Black Lives Matter sticker and a photo of a Black ballerina "with her fist raised near the Lee statue during last summer's protests in Richmond," AP notes.
- An old vial of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was also included in the capsule.
The big picture: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was hit by several lawsuits after announcing in June 2020 plans to remove the 60-foot-tall monument.
- The Supreme Court of Virginia ruled earlier this month that officials could remove the statue, which Northam noted was the state's "largest monument to the Confederate insurrection."
- Officials had tried after the statue's removal to find a late-19th century time capsule they believe was buried in the pedestal, but this didn't materialize.