Virginia replaces 1887 time capsule with woke version filled with BLM and Pride signs

The new capsule contains an expired Covid-vaccine vial, BLM stickers, a 'Virginia is for Lovers' Pride badge among the 39 items


                            Virginia replaces 1887 time capsule with woke version filled with BLM and Pride signs
The contents of the new capsule were proposed by residents of the city (Twitter/@CTVNews, Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A time capsule that remains hidden at the base of the defaced and toppled Robert E. Lee Confederate statue in Richmond, Virginia, for over 130 years is now set to be replaced with a metal box containing woke artifacts including an expired Covid-vaccine vial, Black Lives Matter stickers, photos from anti-asian-hate protests, as well as a 'Virginia is for Lovers' Pride badge.

The contents of the new capsule -- 39 items to be precise -- were reportedly proposed by residents of the city and finalized by a group that included the state's first lady Pamela Northam. The box, which was filled up on Tuesday, will be put in place of the original 1887 capsule on Thursday, September 9. The statue of Lee was sawed in half and brought down in front of a cheering congregation of Black Lives Matter activists on Wednesday, September 8.

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As mentioned, the original copper capsule is from 1887, put there three years before the historical statue was erected. According to NBC News, it is said to contain a silver dollar and memorabilia from the Civil War, including Confederate buttons. At the time of writing on Thursday morning, work crews were still searching for the time capsule believed to be buried inside the pedestal under the statue of Lee that stood for more than a century before being toppled on Wednesday.

The 134-year-old time capsule was slated to be removed Thursday from a cornerstone where state officials believed it was located. However, crews were unable to pinpoint the precise location of the capsule after taking down the 2,500-pound capstone and a 500-pound lid.

The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is removed from its pedestal on Monument Avenue on September 8, 2021, in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Bob Brown - Pool/Getty Images)

According to WANE, workers are using ground-penetrating radar devices to locate the valuable capsule in a third piece of the cornerstone. They would continue to look for it in the cornerstone and adjoining stones, Virginia Gov Ralph Northam’s chief of staff, Clark Mercer, said. Nonetheless, if they cannot retrieve it without taking out too much of the concrete pedestal, they will stop and bury the new capsule nonetheless.

The old box purportedly also contains a photograph of President Abraham Lincoln "lying in his coffin" that was donated by Miss Pattie Leake, a school principal from an influential Richmond family, according to a newspaper article from 1887. That said, archaeologists are yet to find out whether it is an actual photograph of the former President in his coffin or a sketch or print of him lying in state.

Meanwhile, Virginia officials are yet to outline what they will do with the 1887 time capsule and its contents, set to be replaced by the 39 artifacts that the governor believes are a better snapshot of the times.

According to the Daily Mail, the new capsule is said to include "a photograph of a black ballerina dancing in front of the vandalized statue, which was covered in graffiti last summer after the killing of George Floyd, a copy of the National Geographic '2020 in Pictures' issue with a photograph of the Lee monument on the cover, and a Kente cloth worn by the Commissioners of the Congressionally-chartered 400 Years of African-American History Commission."



 

Meanwhile, state officials have said that the 21ft bronze statue of Lee atop a horse will be sent to the Goochland Women's Correctional Center in Virginia for the time being. The statue became the latest historical monument to have been toppled by the BLM movement, despite protests from local residents who thought it should be preserved in history.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and First Lady Pam Northam arrive before the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is removed from its pedestal on Monument Avenue on September 8, 2021, in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

While Northan called the removals as a sign of the times, quite a few residents opposed the move arguing that it went against 1890 deeds that protected the statue. Library records obtained by the Daily Mail reportedly indicated that at least 37 local residents and small businesses had contributed 60-odd objects related to the Confederacy to the time capsule.

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