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Turtle Creek Park’s Robert E. Lee Statue Relocated to Golf Resort

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The statue of Robert E. Lee being taken down and loaded into the back of a trailer truck in Dallas. | Image by Jae S. Lee, Dallas Morning News

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According to ABC News, the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that was removed from Turtle Creek Park in Dallas in September 2017, is now displayed in West Texas at a golf resort. The statue was removed from the park and sold in an online auction.

Lajitas Golf Resort is a 27,000-acre resort located in Terlingua, TX. Kelcy Warren is the owner of this resort, and Scott Beasley, the President of Dallas-based WSB Resorts and Clubs, manages Lajitas. The statue was sent to them in 2019 as a donation.

ABC News mentions that “Holmes Firm PC made the top offer for the sculpture, according to documents from the Dallas City Council.” According to The Hill, the Robert E. Lee statue was sold for $1.4 million.

Scott Beasley stated, “The statue serves no intent but to preserve a fabulous piece of art,” to the Chronicle.

The statue was made by Alexander Phimister Proctor in 1935. It is made of bronze, and according to NBC News, stands fourteen feet tall and weighs six tons. In 1936, the statue was dedicated to the celebration of the Texas Centennial by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

According to ABC News, the statue was “removed from public view amid the fallout over racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.”

Brandon Mack is an activist for Black Lives Matter Houston and “said he takes issue with supporters of Lee who argue that the statue is merely ‘an appreciation for art’ and wonders whether the same defense would be used for other offensive symbols from throughout history.” Mack said, “We don’t glorify the swastika; we don’t have monuments of Adolf Hitler.”

NBC News stated that the vote to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from the park was held on September 6th, 2017, by the Dallas City Council. According to The New York Times, the vote was thirteen to one in favor of the removal. The Dallas City Council stated that “public Confederate monuments and the names of public places, including parks and streets, named for Confederate figures do not promote a welcoming and inclusive city.”

On September 14th, 2017, a crane came to Turtle Creek Park, which was formerly named Lee Park after General Robert E. Lee. Police escorted the crane and began to take the statue from its base. NBC News stated that “police tactical officers with automatic rifles provided security” during the removal process.

When the statue of the General was removed from the park, it was stored at the former Naval Air Station, which is now known as Dallas’ Hensley Field. It was kept there until it was sold at the auction in 2019.

The New York Times mentions that a professor of art history from the University of Texas urged the Dallas City Council to remember that the statue is “artistically significant” when the city was trying to figure out what to do with it. The professor, Rick Brettel, said that the bronze statue is “one of the very few equestrian monuments in the history of art in which a leader shares his monument with someone nameless.”

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