Tripulaciones de Virginia pueden haber encontrado la cápsula del tiempo en el pedestal de la estatua de Robert E Lee

Tripulaciones trabajando para quitar el pedestal desde el cual una estatua del general confederado Robert E Lee se elevaba sobre Richmond, Virginia, durante más de un siglo creen que han encontrado una cápsula del tiempo enterrada allí en 1887.

The large bronze equestrian statue of Lee, erected in 1890, estaba taken down in September, more than a year after Governor Ralph Northam ordered its removal amid protests over racism and police brutality across the US following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The day after the statue was removed, work crews spent more than 12 hours searching for the time capsule in the 40ft pedestal but were unable to locate it.

El viernes, Northam announced that crews found the top of a square box embedded in a 2,000lb granite block. It was located about 20ft off the ground, in the main section of the pedestal, not its base. Workers who searched for it in September believed it was tucked inside or under a cornerstone.

“It looks like it is [the time capsule],” said Clark Mercer, Northam’s chief of staff. “We’re hoping it hasn’t been damaged by water over the last 100-plus years.”

By late Friday, workers had lowered a large piece of granite containing the box to the ground. They were planning to bring it to the state department of historic resources, to be opened sometime next week. Mercer said the box was still encased in granite and needed to be dislodged and X-rayed before officials could be certain it was the time capsule.

A newspaper article from 1887 suggests the capsule contains civil war memorabilia and a “picture of Lincoln lying in his coffin”. Historians say it is doubtful the picture is an actual photograph, which would be rare and valuable.

Records from the Library of Virginia suggest 37 Richmond residents, organizations and businesses contributed about 60 objects to the capsule, many of which are believed to be related to the Confederacy.

The Lee statue, which became a symbol of racial injustice, was one of five Confederate tributes along Monument Avenue in Richmond but the only one that belonged to the state.

The four city-owned statues were taken down in 2020 but the Lee statue removal was blocked by two lawsuits until a ruling from the supreme court of Virginia in September cleared the way for it to be taken down.

Northam announced earlier this month that the pedestal would be removed, a reversal from September, when the governor said the pedestal would stay in place so its future could be determined by a community driven effort to reimagine Monument Avenue.

After Floyd’s murder in 2020, the Lee statue became a focal point of the racial justice movement in Richmond. Desde entonces, the pedestal has been covered in graffiti, some of it profane and much of it denouncing the police.

Some activists wanted to see it remain in place as a work of protest art.

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