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Crews Find Second Exposed 1887 Time Capsule Under Robert E Lee Statue | Virginia

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Teams that completed Monday’s removal of a giant pedestal that once contained a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee in Richmond have discovered what appeared to be a much-sought second time capsule, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said.

The governor tweeted photos of a box removed from the site and said curators were studying the artifact.

“They found him! This is probably the time capsule that everyone has been looking for, ”he tweeted.

The governor said the box would not be opened on Monday. It was not immediately clear what kind of state content might be in.

The development marked the latest turning point in a months-long search for the capsule, which, according to contemporary reports, was placed in a cornerstone laying ceremony in 1887 attended by thousands of people. News articles described his dozens of donated artifacts, including Confederate memorabilia. Based on historical documents, some have also speculated that the capsule may contain a rare photo of late President Abraham Lincoln.

Earlier this month, the teams that dismantled the pedestal found a time capsule embedded in a block of granite that some initially believed might have been the one placed in 1887. But after state conservatives spent hours last week carefully opening the box, they couldn’t find the expected treasure of Confederation-related items. Instead, the Conservatives brought out a few waterlogged books, a silver coin and an envelope with papers.

Crews Find Second Exposed 1887 Time Capsule Under Robert E Lee Statue |  Virginia

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The teams that removed the pedestal that once contained a statue of General Robert E Lee found a much sought-after time capsule. Photograph: Governor of Virginia / AFP / Getty Images

The theory that prevailed last week was that the lead box was left behind by one or more people who oversaw the construction of the monument.

The search for the 1887 time capsule resumed on Monday.

Devon Henry, the contractor whose company was overseeing the removal, said the box was found inside a mostly ground-level granite enclosure surrounded by fill and other construction materials. Workers removed the top of the granite enclosure to find the box, which appeared to be copper, resting in the water, Henry said.

The box was then covered with bubble wrap and transported by vehicle from the site for further study, he said.

The statue of Lee, which depicted the general on top of a horse, was erected on the soaring pedestal in 1890 in the former capital of the Confederacy. His withdrawal in September came more than a year after Northam ordered it following protests that erupted after the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The removal of Lee’s statue was blocked by two lawsuits until a Virginia Supreme Court ruling in September paves the way for its dismantling. Crews then searched for the time capsule, digging and removing massive stones, but were unable to locate it.

Henry said he was found in the northeast corner of the pedestal on Monday, about 1.2 meters below the area initially searched.

Northam’s administration originally planned to leave the pedestal in place, but announced in early December that contractors would remove the now graffiti-covered juggernaut and move the grassy roundabout it inhabited to the city of Richmond. The administration said it will be held until “next steps” have been determined.

Finalizing the removal work at the site will likely take another week, Henry said.

News Today Local news Crews Find Second Exposed 1887 Time Capsule Under Robert E Lee Statue | Virginia

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