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Workers Stunned By What They Uncover Inside 100-Year-Old Confederate Statue

City workers in Orlando, Florida were startled by a fascinating discovery they made as they dismantled and removed a statue Lake Eola Park. The statue is named “Johnny Reb,” and it’s been a source of controversy due to the fact that it’s a Confederate statue. As Fox News shares, workers were taking the statue apart to have it moved to the Greenwood Cemetery, and they would find a curious box underneath.

That box would turn out to be a time capsule. No plans for opening it have been announced as of yet, but it’s opened up a ton of speculation about what it may contain.

“We just have to take our due diligence in making sure it’s opened correctly,” said the cemetery’s Don Price, who notes that it weighs about three pounds.

As the Orlando Sentinel notes, the statue has a lengthy history in the community.

“Commissioned by a local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the statue was first erected in 1911 on Main Street — now Magnolia Avenue — near the old Orange County courthouse, before being moved in 1917 to the park,” the Sentinel reports. “The statue has faced scrutiny in recent years, as cities across the South have grappled with whether to allow monuments to the Civil War to remain on display in the public square.”

The general assumption is that the capsule contains documents and photos, but it will nonetheless be fascinating to see what it contains. As for the statue, it’s become a bone of contention in the area, as many observers feel that Confederate artifacts symbolize racism.

“A lot of people argue it’s history and their heritage. I agree, it is history and heritage,” noted one resident. “But what side of history is it on — the good side or the bad side of history?”

“It’s honoring all those that died,” added another resident. “In its time, it wasn’t considered an affront to anybody, and now, all of a sudden, it’s an affront. It’s just sad. We can’t rewrite history. It is what it is.”

Plans call for the statue to be fully rebuilt at the cemetery. The whole process will take about six weeks, and the cost has been estimated at an eye-popping $120,000. As for the statue’s new home, Price seems undeterred that it may attract protesters to the cemetery.

“This is the Confederate section of the cemetery so, historically, it belongs here. We’re the keeper of the history,” he said. “If we have protesters, that’s OK. I have 120 acres. You can protest all you want.”

Either way, debate over the statue will not likely go away simply because it’s being moved. Some observers argue that it’s a racist symbol that simply needs to be eradicated, while others note that it’s simply a part of history. When viewed through the latter lens, it’s hard to take issue with the statue. However, some white supremacist groups tout Confederate symbols and heritage, and that’s not something that needs to be promoted by anyone.

Source: Fox News, Orlando Sentinel
Photo: City of Orlando

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