Video: Virginia Conservators Open 1887 Time Capsule Found Beneath Removed Robert E. Lee Statue
© AP Photo / Steve HelberA time capsule that was placed in 1887 in the pedestal that once held the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is uncovered on Monument Avenue, Friday Dec. 17, 2021, in Richmond, Va. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the pedestal removed and the land given to the city of Richmond.
© AP Photo / Steve Helber
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Virginia Historic Resources Department conservators on Wednesday opened a time capsule hidden in the pedestal of a taken-down statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, finding books and other historically significant items placed in the 1887 container.
The conservators worked slowly over a number of hours to open the time capsule, which was sealed with lead, without damaging any of the contents inside. After unsealing the lid, the conservators carefully removed items including books and an envelope, the content of which is currently unknown.
Some of the objects did appear to have water damage, a conservator noted.
The bronze statue of Robert E. Lee, from underneath which working crews removed the time capsule, was taken down in September due to its association with the Confederacy and racial injustice.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – who ordered the statue’s pedestal removal in a reversal of previous plans to repurpose it – attended the time capsule’s opening, watching closely as conservators removed the historic items.