- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2005

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — A craftsman could be at work this weekend to restore a vandalized Confederate memorial in which the faces of life-size figures were painted black.

Police have made no arrests in the vandalism, which was discovered last weekend.

The Confederate Monument is a 56-foot-high granite pillar surrounded by four metal figures, each representing a different branch of the Confederate forces. The sculptures are of a sailor, a cavalryman, an infantryman and an artilleryman. All are white.

The vandals used black enamel spray paint to color each face.

“I have a gut feeling that there might be some symbolism to it, but I don’t know what that is,” Portsmouth Museums Director Nancy Perry said. “I think the Civil War is still sensitive to a segment of the South.” .

The Confederate Monument was the first of its kind in Hampton Roads when dedicated in 1893. The memorial is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Miss Perry said Andrew Baxter, a metal conservator from Richmond, likely will start Sunday to remove the paint from the cast-zinc figures. The figures of the monument designed by Capt. Charles E. Cassell, a former Confederate typographical engineer, were based on local residents who modeled various members of the branches of the military.

The monument was scheduled for an $80,000 restoration this year.


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