TERLINGUA, Texas (AP) — A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that the city of Dallas removed from a park and later sold in an online auction is now on display at a golf resort in West Texas.
The 27,000-acre resort, which is privately owned by Dallas billionaire and pipeline mogul Kelcy Warren and managed by Scott Beasley, the president of Dallas-based WSB Resorts and Clubs, received the statue as a donation in 2019.
The 1935 sculpture by Alexander Phimister Proctor was among several Lee monuments around the U.S. that were removed from public view amid the fallout over racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
The artwork, which depicts Lee and another soldier on horses, was kept in storage at Dallas’ Hensley Field, the former Naval Air Station, until it was sold in 2019. Holmes Firm PC made the top offer for the sculpture, according to documents from the Dallas City Council.
Terlingua, which is in Brewster County near Big Bend National Park and the Rio Grande, has less than 100 residents and no record of Black residents, according to recent census data. Black people make up just 1.7% of the population of Brewster County, according to census data.
Beasley told the Chronicle the statue serves no intent but to preserve “a fabulous piece of art.”
“I would say that of the 60-plus-thousand guests we host each year, we’ve had one or two negative comments” he said.
But Black Lives Matter Houston activist Brandon Mack 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, or if that’s reserved for iconography solely glorifying the oppression of Blacks.
“We don’t glorify the swastika; we don’t have monuments (of) Adolf Hitler,” he said.