Municipalities Struggle to Decide Fates of Removed Confederate Monuments
More than 45 Confederate monuments across 27 cities have been removed since last summer’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, report
Noah Caldwell and Audie Cornish for NPR. Now cities must decide where to put the controversial statues. Many are currently hidden in temporary storage locations while municipalities—such as Memphis, TN, which recently removed a monument to Ku Klux Klan leader and Confederate soldier, Nathan Bedford Forrest—decide their fates. Many museums are unwilling to accept monuments due to maintenance costs, size constraints, and the difficulty of contextualizing powerfully and controversially symbolic statues. Some Southerners say the statues should be donated to local Confederate organizations that, in many cases, initially funded the statues. Others say the monuments should be disposed of permanently. According to a 2017 PRRI survey
, nearly six in ten (58 percent) Americans say that monuments to Confederate soldiers are symbols of Southern pride, while three in ten (30 percent) say they are symbols of racism.