The city’s remaining contested statue was torn from its pedestal Saturday once Charlottesville’s City Council voted unanimously to take down the statue of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea.
“The statue of Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea departed the intersection where it has stood since 1919 at around 2:45 p.m. aboard a flatbed truck,” the Daily Progress reported, adding the removal took approximately an hour and a half.
It was transported to Darden Towe Park in Albermarle County, which is where the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center is located, the article continued:
The council voted to approve a resolution that said the statue shall be removed from its current location on West Main Street and transported to a storage location owned, or co-owned by the city, and authorized the city manager to carry out this relocation. The meeting was announced 20 minutes prior in an email sent to the press holding credentials to cover the removal of the Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statues in the morning.
Video footage showed bystanders watching as crews removed the historic statue:
According to City Manager Chip Boyles, the meeting was called because the removal of the Confederate statues went so well the crew would be able to take down the Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea figure with no extra funding.
“On Wednesday, city councilors appropriated $1 million for the removal of all three statues,” the report said.
At Saturday’s meeting, the council also debated the potential for the statue to be placed at the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center.
Alexandria Searls, director of the center, said it worked with Shoshone people interested in creating recontextualized art to be placed with the statues, the Progress report continued.
“The statue of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea was sculpted by Charles Keck, who was a prominent sculptor of his day,” the Visit Charlottesville website read:
The figures of Lewis, Clark and Sacajewea face west, and are considered historically accurate with lovely proportions and beautiful details. To appreciate the statue fully, the visitor should look carefully at the base of the statue, where the written descriptions are supplemented by carvings which represent significant aspects of their journey.
These include a buffalo hunt, tribal council, lines representing a river, the American eagle and the seals of both the United States and the state of Virginia. The statue represents not only the first public depiction of the famous Corps of Discovery in Charlottesville, but expresses the popular sentiments of the day towards the general themes of exploration, national purpose and conquest of the wilderness of North America.
The statue has received criticism for portraying Sacagawea in a crouched position, but some historians interpreted her position as directing the explorers and tracking, according to the Progress article.