Repairs to Denmark Vesey statue to begin following report of vandalism
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston police say repairs to the statue of Denmark Vesey at Hampton Park will begin Tuesday.
Police investigated reports of vandalism and noted two areas of concern, according to Charleston city spokesman Jack O'Toole.
One of the concerns is a "very small chip" on the left front corner of the platform, a chip city officials had not noted before, he said.
The other concern was the deterioration of the original caulking at the base of the statue's platform, which is typically the result of changing weather conditions over time, O'Toole said.
The Charleston Parks Department will begin caulking repairs Tuesday. Officials are currently evaluating options to repair the chip, he said.
"This statue of Denmark Vesey is a critical symbol of our citizens' continuing commitment to racial reconciliation, and city officials will be keeping a close eye on it to ensure that it is protected from further damage or deterioration," O'Toole said.
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 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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