Emotions raw as black 'Lady Liberty' replaces Lee in Baltimore

Activists put up a new sculpture where generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson stood until their removal.

BALTIMORE, MD (WUSA9) - Activists lifted a modern sculpture depicting a pregnant African-American "Lady Liberty" onto the pedestal where a monument to Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson was removed overnight.

The new statue is not sanctioned by the City of Baltimore which owns the site, but there was no immediate action to remove it by police or city officials.

The removal of the Lee-Jackson monument and three other Confederate statues was ordered by Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Pugh told reporters she ordered the removals as a matter of public safety after violence in Charlottesville, Va. involving white supremacists and counter-protestors squaring off over a statue of Robert E. Lee there.

The Lee-Jackson statue had stood on its pedestal in Wyman Park since 1948.

RELATED: Baltimore removes Confederate statues in wake of Charlottesville

Baltimore has been studying the issue of Confederate monument removal since the Charleston church massacre in 2015. Plaques placed on the Lee-Jackson statue were placed calling the monuments examples of the revisionist history "Lost Cause" movement.  

"The commission concluded that this monument was part of a movement to perpetuate the beliefs of white supremacy, falsify history, and support segregation and racial intimidation," said a city plaque placed on the monument before its ultimate removal.

Pugh said the monuments have been moved to safe locations for storage, but she did not say where. Once city council member is calling for the destruction of the statues. Pugh suggested the possibility they could be relocated to Confederate cemeteries. However, she said no decision has been made.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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