A law firm in Dallas placed a $1.4 million bid in hopes of gaining possession of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The bid turned out to be enough to win the auction for the statue. The city decided to auction off the statue a little more than two years after it was removed from its position in a state park.
The Dallas City Council reports that Holmes Firm PC is now the owner of the bronze sculpture. The statue is one of several monuments to General Lee that was taken down from public view in the United States.
The owner of the firm, Robert L. Holmes, has not yet made it known what he plans to do with the statue. It is also unclear whether the firm was acting on its own behalf or on the behalf of a client.
The firm has not responded to requests for comments from the media.
Joey Zapata, Assistant City Manager of Dallas, says the money from the auction will be added to the city’s contingency fund. He also said there are no plans at this time to auction other Confederate symbols owned by the city.
Zapata explained a task force assembled by the city to review the sculpture and other symbols suggested they be placed in a local museum or institution of learning. The assistant city manager says no institution showed interest in housing the objects.
Zapata says a monument to the fallen Confederacy located not far from the city’s convention center will soon be removed. The disassembled parts will be placed in storage.
The sculpture that is now the possession of Holmes Firm PC was originally sculpted by Alexander Phimister Proctor in 1935. The sculpture was declared surplus property by the city which opened the door for the auction. The opening bid was set at $450,000. This was the expense to the city for removing the statue from the park.
A Senate Bill passed in May has taken the power to remove Confederate markers away from local governments. It is now required that the approval of voters or state lawmakers is first obtained.
The issue of monuments to the Confederacy being removed from public places has been a hot topic since the tragic events at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Many public interests groups have formed to protest the monuments which they feel are a celebration of an era of racism in America.