Controversial statue torn down in 2017 re-emerges at golf course in Texas

A statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee that was removed from a park in Dallas is now on display in a golf course in West Texas.

The bronze sculpture of both Lee and a soldier on horseback was removed from the park in Dallas in 2017, and later sold in an online auction.

It now resides at the Lajitas Golf Resort in Terlingua, in the west of the state.

The 27,000-acre resort is owned by Dallas billionaire and pipeline guru Kelcy Warren and managed by Scott Beasley, the president of Dallas-based WSB Resorts and Clubs.

They received the statue as a donation in 2019.

The sculpture by Alexander Phimister Proctor from 1935 was among statues of the confederate leader placed around the country that ended up being removed from public view after violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

It had been kept in storage in a former naval air station in Dallas until its sale in 2019, city council documents show, with local media reporting it went for $1.4m (£1m).

The community of Terlingua in Texas has a tiny population of just 100, and sits close to the Rio Grande.

Data shows the village has no black residents.

Club manager Mr Beasley told the Houston Chronicle that the sculpture is only there so it can be preserved, calling it “a fabulous piece of art” and says that critics are “uneducated”.

“I would say that of the 60-plus-thousand guests we host each year, we’ve had one or two negative comments,” he added.

However, Black Lives Matter Houston activist Brandon Mack does not believe that the statue is just there to be preserved or serve as “an appreciation for art”, adding that the same arguments are not made of other offensive symbols throughout history.

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The confederacy was a military force in 19th-century America, that fought the government to uphold the institution of slavery during the US civil war, and were largely seen to be white supremacists and a symbol of racism.

It was eventually defeated, but flags, symbols and regalia can controversially still be seen in some parts of the country today, particularly in southern states, from which the army operated.

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