Confederate statue damaged by car crash

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Photo/Hal Hardaway
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By Cody Mello-Klein | [email protected]

The city’s controversial Appomattax statue, which sits at the intersection of South Washington and Prince streets was struck by a car on Saturday, according to the Alexandria Police Department.

A driver crashed into the statue at about 2 a.m. on Saturday, Lt. Courtney Bal- lantine said in an emailed statement. The crash shifted the statue off its base and cracked a portion of the base. Police notified the owners of the statue, the Daughters of the Confederacy.

Originally installed in 1889, the statue was meant to represent the end of conflict after the Civil War. But it has also served as a painful reminder of slavery for the city’s black residents.

Potential removal of the statue has been discussed for decades; however a 1998 law passed by the state legislature prohibits localities from changing war monuments. City council established an ad hoc advisory group in 2015 to consider Confederate memorials and street names.

In 2016, council voted to ask permission from the state legislature to move the statue in front of The Lyceum, but no action was taken. In order to move the statue, city council would have to get approval from the Daughters of the Confederacy.

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