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Charleston’s John C. Calhoun statue could go to SC State Museum

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 12:46 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Charleston officials confirmed Thursday that the city is involved in ongoing discussions with the South Carolina State Museum about the future of the John C. Calhoun statue, which was removed from Marion Square last year.

However, it’s not clear exactly what is being considered at this time.

At the request of Charleston police, the statue’s current location is still confidential while officials work to reconcile its fate.

Meanwhile, the city’s Commission on Equity, Inclusion, and Racial Conciliation could soon release its report on creating measurable outcomes, greater accountability, and community resources to achieve racial equity in the Holy City. The commission was created on June 9, 2020, just a few weeks before Calhoun’s statue was removed from its post overlooking downtown Charleston. City officials said the report could be released within the next 60 to 90 days.

Calhoun’s monument, which overlooked downtown Charleston, was removed from its post on June 24, 2020. It took crews more than 17 hours to bring down the bronze statue of the former United States Vice President and South Carolina statesman. Calhoun was the seventh vice president of the United States. His support of slavery prompted calls for the statue’s removal from Marion Square for years. However, the push to remove the monument gained new momentum in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020.

Demolition of the statue’s base began in October, and it was during that work that a time capsule from 1858 was discovered.

Historians say the capsule was buried eight years after Calhoun died, but it was moved twice.

Experts have previously reported that they expected the time capsule to contain a variety items that could include an iron cannonball, various tin boxes that contain paper and a lock of Calhoun’s hair. There were also expectations that it could hold textiles and a banner carried in Calhoun’s funeral procession.

City of Charleston officials and an archaeologist will reveal what was discovered during a media availability event Thursday.

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