St. Charles launches ‘Save the Statue’ campaign to bring Sacagawea to Missouri

Missouri

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — St. Charles Missouri is interested in acquiring a statue of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea recently removed from Charlottesville, Virginia. The city has posted a fundraiser to help bring the statue to Missouri. So far they have raised over $1,545 but need to reach a $50,000 goal.

Now, Charlottesville is taking offers from other cities interested in receiving the Lewis, Clark, and Sacajawea statues. St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer would like to bring the Sacajawea statue to his city. He believes the statues can help with tourism.

There were several other monuments removed on July 10, including Confederate icons.

Cheers erupted as a Confederate statue that towered for nearly a century over downtown Charlottesville was carted away by truck from the Virginia city where it had become a flashpoint for racist protests and deadly violence.

The larger-than-life figure of Gen. Robert E. Lee was hoisted from its pedestal and taken, at least for now, to storage.

The statue’s removal came more than five years after racial justice activists had renewed a push to take down the monument, an initiative that drew the attention of white supremacists and other racist groups, culminating in the violent “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.

Also removed was a statue of Sacagawea, and explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, which has been criticized for a depiction of the Native American guide and interpreter some view as subservient and weak.

The statue of Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea has historical significance for St. Charles. The explorers started their journey west from there in 1804. The statue would help educate the community about Sacagawea’s role.

The expedition started in 1804 from Saint Charles to explore new lands. Their journey went up the Missouri River and eventually to the west coast of the United States. Along the way, they met many different people,  encountered new animals, and explored new lands that would eventually become the United States.

There are 15 other cities interested in the statue. Whoever gets the statue will need to have a plan to recontextualize the monument and provide a history of Sacajawea’s positive role in the expedition. Charlottesville is accepting bids until Aug. 27.

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