Dec 7, 2021 1:46 PM

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — The statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that drew violent protests to Charlottesville, Virginia, will be melted down and made into new art. The city decided to donate the bronze statue to an African American heritage center after a council meeting that stretched into Tuesday morning. The “Swords Into Plowshares” plan to create public art with the melted-down metal is supported by groups of people descended from slaves at the University of Virginia and Monticello. The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s director, Andrea Douglas, says they hope to transform something that was toxic into something beautiful.