California museum requests John C. Calhoun statue

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:18 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:29 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The fate of the John C. Calhoun statue is being discussed by Charleston city leaders Wednesday.

The statue was removed from Marion Square in June 2020 after the community expressed concerns about what the monument stood for.

A museum in Los Angeles, California called LAXART is requesting to move the John C. Calhoun statue to their space to create a new exhibit. The monument would be added to a collection of several other Civil War monuments from across the south.

One of the artists, Hamza Walker, says in a letter to the city that he and another artist are co-curating this exhibit called “Monuments.” Walker says the Confederate monuments in front of the courthouse and capitol buildings are physical manifestations of the Lost Cause Belief.

“Formed in the wake of the Civil War, the Lost Cause contends that the South’s secession from the Union and the ensuing bloodshed was not about slavery but rather, was courageously fought to defend states’ rights from a tyrannical federal government in spite of overwhelming odds against them,” Walker said.

Walker says the exhibit intends to confront the Lost Cause belief.

Walker says in the letter that they plan to use the monuments as inspiration to create new artwork, which they believe will confront and challenge these long-held beliefs about the real people behind the inanimate objects and “the way in which we can build a roadmap forward.”

Walker says although Calhoun was not a Confederate figure, he played a pivotal role in the expansion and protection of slavery.

LAXART would use grants and donations to pay for all costs associated with transporting the statue. Moving the statue is a temporary move, Charleston Spokesperson Chloe Fields said.

City leaders are set to discuss the proposal Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the History Commission meeting.

The meeting can be accessed by phone: Conference Call: 1-929-205-6099 Meeting ID: 812 7172 2592

It will also be broadcast live on the city’s YouTube channel.

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