Workers find a box under a Confederate monument to Jefferson Davis. The Black History Museum will decide its future – KION546

By Christina Zdanowicz, CNN

While dismantling the pedestal that once housed a statue of Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Va., workers discovered a box embedded in stone on Wednesday, the city said.

“Until we see what’s inside it’s just a box, but most historians believe it’s a time capsule,” wrote Friday. James Nolan, the mayor’s press secretary at CNN.

Protesters demolished and vandalized the statue of the President of the Confederation in June 2020, but the pedestal remained. Scores of statues of Confederate leaders fell that summer in cities across the United States as widespread protests denounced racism and oppression.

Richmond began removing and transporting the plinths that once housed Confederate monuments on Feb. 1, according to a city news release.

The box is stored in a secure location by the city until the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia decides what to do with it, Nolan said.

Richmond City Council passed a resolution Jan. 24 to transfer ownership of all Confederate monuments, pedestals and artifacts to the Black History Museum. The museum is partnering with the Valentine, another museum, to determine what to do with these objects.

CNN contacted the Black History Museum about plans for the box and received no response.

“Our institution takes very seriously the responsibility of managing these objects in a way that ensures their origins and purpose are never forgotten: it is the glorification of those who led the fight to enslave African Americans and destroy the Union,” said Marland Buckner, acting executive director. of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, said in a Dec. 30 city news release.

“We hope this process will elevate public dialogue about our shared history and, in doing so, encourage and invite more citizens to respectful, fact-based conversations about the profound challenges we face as a nation,” a- he declared.

Other monuments entrusted to museums include those of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart and many others, according to the press release.

This isn’t the first box discovered under a Confederate monument in Richmond. In December, two time capsules were found buried under the pedestal of the Robert E. Lee statue. Lee was a Confederate general.

The first time capsule included an almanac from 1875, two old books, a coin and a cloth envelope, which historians say was buried in 1887.

A week later, a Bible with a coin stuck on it and an 1865 edition of Harper’s Weekly magazine with an image of a figure weeping at President Abraham Lincoln’s grave were found in the second time capsule.

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