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Protesters said they are planning to topple a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the capital meant to commemorate his 1863 proclamation freeing enslaved people in the rebel states at the height of the Civil War.
The Emancipation Memorial, erected in 1876 in Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill, has long drawn criticism for its paternalistic imagery of a standing President Lincoln looming over a kneeling black man and his broken shackles. The planned attempt to remove the statue, originally set for Thursday, comes as protesters across the country have taken aim at statues of slave owners, Confederate leaders and purveyors of white supremacy.
The National Park Service said Thursday in response to the threats to topple the statue that it would fence off both the Emancipation Memorial and the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial, across Lincoln Park, to prevent them from being damaged by protesters. Areas around the statues will be closed through the end of July, and potentially longer, “to protect these resources from significant imminent threat of destruction and vandalism and the threat to public safety that may be attendant to such vandalism,” NPS said in a memo viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
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