CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WCAV) — The two Confederate statues located in downtown Charlottesville have been vandalized for the second time in a week. This time, someone broke off parts of the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee monuments.
Image of angelic figures at the base of Charlottesville's Stonewall Jackson statue with noses broken off on Sept. 19, 2019 | Photo credit: WCAV
The Stonewall Jackson statue appears to have been hardest hit.
The noses on the two angelic icons on the base of the statue appear to have been knocked off.
Some of the toes on the female symbol have also been chipped off, while the sword in the hand of the male angel symbol appears to have been broken.
The Robert E. Lee statue has an eagle symbol at the base, and its beak beak is no longer there.
Legal analyst Scott Goodman says this is a very serious offense.
"It does carry a penalty of either up to one year in jail or up to five years in prison depending on the value of the damage," he said. "If it's less than a thousand dollars, it's a misdemeanor for a maximum 12 months in jail. If the damage is more than a thousand dollars, then it is a felony that carries a sentence of five years in prison."
Goodman also says the property is under state code, and as a war memorial (which the recent lawsuit over the monuments concluded), they are protected under the statute against damaging such pieces of property.
Over the weekend, "1619" was spray painted on the statues, referencing the year the first slaves came to Virginia. That was quickly scrubbed off in the day afterward. Restoring broken pieces is significantly more difficult.
The Charlottesville Police Department confirms it is conducting an investigation into both acts of vandalism.
A spokesman for the plaintiffs suing the city over attempts to remove the statues says they expect a criminal investigation and are seeking permission from the city to have an expert examine the damage.