New Statue Unveiled In Response To Richmond's Confederate Monuments

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In Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, towering monuments to Confederate leaders stand in the middle of the city. One statue depicts cavalry commander Gen. J.E.B. Stuart sitting upon a muscular horse, striking a heroic pose.

About a mile away, a similar bronze sculpture has been installed; but instead of a Confederate general, it portrays a black man with dreads, wearing a hoodie and Nikes.

The statue called Rumors of War was built by Kehinde Wiley, widely known for painting the official portrait of President Barack Obama. After spending several weeks on display in Times Square, Wiley officially unveiled the three-story-tall statue Tuesday at its permanent home in front of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

"It is monumental and not just a figure of speech, it is truly monumental, in terms of its ability to be a seismic shift in how we perceive and how we understand ourselves as people living here," Valerie Cassel Oliver, the museum's curator of modern and contemporary art, told NPR's Newscast Unit.

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