Crews complete restoration of vandalized Denmark Vesey statue
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The statue honoring Denmark Vesey again stands in Hampton Park following its vandalism last May.
Vesey, a slave in the early 1800s, was one of the founders of Mother Emanuel AME Church, according to its website. Implicated in a slave revolt in 1822, he and five others were executed.
The project to restore the statue took months, Charleston city spokesman Jack O’Toole said. It began after the monument’s engraved front-facing granite slab was vandalized.
O’Toole said James C. Meadors, owner of Meadors, Inc., volunteered to replace the granite slab for free.
“When removing the damaged granite and conducting their initial assessment, the contractor found extensive water infiltration, which was causing the interior of the statue’s existing steel frame to rust and become unstable,” O’Toole said. “Further, they noted that the capstone had become deformed due to inadequate internal support.”
Crews fabricated a new stainless steel frame to prevent rusting and improve center supports.
The city said even with the expanded scope of the project, Meadors donated the total cost of the project, estimated to be around $20,000.
“We are so grateful for the generosity and exceptional work done by James Meadors and his staff at Meadors, Inc.,” City of Charleston Parks Director Jason Kronsberg said. “The care they put into the restoration of this important statue will ensure it remains in excellent condition for many years to come.”
The new improved frame, face stone and capstone, along with replaced brick base trim, have been installed and the statue was returned to its base.
The statue was the scene of a silent demonstration and moment of prayer on June 18, 2015, the day after nine parishioners at the church were gunned down. Members of the group “Black Lives Matter” gathered around the statue to join hands and pray for a revival of the community.
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