Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Statue of Jefferson Davis is proposed

Confederate group seeks spot near Lincoln statue at Tredegar in Richmond


A life-size statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis could stand with the one of Abraham Lincoln at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans is offering to donate a bronze statue of Davis for placement at the National Historic Landmark site to mark this year as the bicentennial of his birth.

The $100,000-plus statue by Lexington sculptor Gary Casteel would help educate the public about the Confederate president and how his family took in a mixed-race orphan and serve as a counter to the Lincoln statue that was dedicated in 2003, said Brag Bowling, a Richmond resident and a board member with the national Southern-heritage group.

"There were two sides of the war," he said.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans fought the Lincoln statue, which depicts him with his son Tad on his visit to the burned-out Confederate capital in 1865. Bowling said the group isn't trying to cause an uproar but sees a need for historic balance at Tredegar.

"The acceptance of that statue would soothe some feelings of Southerners from a few years ago," he said.

Representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are expected to meet next Tuesday with officials from the American Civil War Center, which controls the Tredegar site through an agreement with its owner, NewMarket Corp.

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