The Dallas City Council is scheduled to vote Wednesday to decide the fate of the Confederate statues around the city.
85-year-old sculptor Barvo Walker has created art work that stands around the world. He is one of the twenty citizens serving on the Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ Confederate war memorials task force, including the Robert E. Lee statue that stands alone. It’s a statue Walker calls a marvelous art work that should remain.
“You wouldn't go over and destroy the Sistine Chapel— that’s the best example,” he said “I have a lot of black, my black friends want to take it down. They want to try to erase history.”
Rene Martinez is the lone Latino on the task force. He says the issue is not art. The former park board member is not concerned about whether the council will vote to bring them down.
“They're gonna do what they think is right, and they're gonna make some decisions,” he said. “We have to work under those parameters. Those parameters right now is what do we do with these monuments. What are we gonna do with other monuments that we find.”
“Why are we here if that decision has already been made,” Walker said.
Walker says he thought the task force was supposed to do more than just decide where the monuments should go. They were to recommend even if the monuments should go.
“I hope that we can ward off this vote that the committee the task force can really make a decision,” he said. “My hard firm opinion is if we take the statue down and put it in storage, several things will happen: it'll be forgotten, it'll be damaged. Fifty years from now, somebody will find it call it scrap and that will be the end of it.”
The committee was also asked to look at renaming streets in Dallas, like Tyler, Jefferson and Davis named after Confederate heroes of the civil war.
Expect a lively and packed city council meeting this Wednesday. Private money put the statue up and some say private money should pay to take it down.
Some private citizens have reportedly expressed interest in buying the statues to display the works on private property.