SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - The public meeting set for Monday night to allow residents to voice their opinions on the Confederate monument in Salisbury known as “Fame” has been moved from the council chambers to the Salisbury Civic Center.
“To accommodate the large crowd anticipated for the “Fame” statue public hearing on Monday, June 17, the meeting location, format and time limits have changed from standard protocol in the City Council Chambers at City Hall,” said a news release from the City of Salisbury. “The event will be held at the Salisbury Civic Center, 315 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., from 6 to 8:15 p.m. Each speaker will be allotted three minutes to speak. Additional minutes cannot be provided from other attendees. Speakers are not required to sign in. Participants are encouraged to speak within the given time frame and remain civil and respectful as comments are shared.”
In May, Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins held a closed meeting to discuss the monument that has recently twice been the site of vandalism.
Mayor Heggins said the next step would be a called public meeting to allow residents to voice their opinions on the monument known as Fame, and if any changes should be made as to its location.
“I’m really after everyone who has vastly different perspectives around the Confederate monument to really see each other as people first," Heggins said. "Whether it gives you a good feeling or a bad feeling, to understand where everyone is coming from.”
Someone splashed paint on “Fame,” the statue in the median of W. Innes Street and Church Street, in March. It marked the second time the Confederate monument has been splashed with paint in the last few months.
The paint mainly landed at waist level of the statue that depicts a dead Confederate soldier and what has been variously described as an angel or a muse.
A surveillance picture of two persons of interest was released, but no one has been charged.
In a letter to the Salisbury City Council following the vandalism in March, Salisbury-Rowan NAACP President Gemale Black is called for a public hearing to discuss the removal of the Confederate monument.
The letter notes the recent vandalism of the statue, and the recent removal of Confederate monuments and other statues in other cities in North Carolina, and across the South.