An 1875 almanac, two worn books, a coin and a cloth envelope were among the objects found in an 1887 time capsule that opened on Wednesday (22). The capsule was found last week on the pedestal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, the capital of the state of Virginia, in the United States.
WTVR, affiliate of CNN, made a live broadcast showing the process conducted by experts in historic preservation. The lead receptacle was corroded, and professionals had to use several tools to open the box, a delicate process that took many hours.
It all started at 10 am and ended around 3 pm, when Governor Ralph Northam lifted the cap of the capsule to reveal its interior.
Katherine Ridgway, curator at the Virginia Department of Historical Resources, was one of the experts who worked on the process and noted that one of the books had the word “love” written on it and a coin attached, according to WTVR.
There was also a cloth envelope that experts said appeared to contain a piece of paper and perhaps a photo, according to the live stream.
The items were wet with moisture accumulated inside the lead box, so experts had to work carefully to remove them and ensure they remained preserved.
“As the objects are wet, they will be placed in a freezer to prevent any further deterioration,” Ridgway told WTVR. It is not known how long this preservation process will take.
Time Capsule History
Workers found the time capsule on Dec. 17 as they dismantled the 40-foot plinth on Richmond’s main Avenue of Monuments, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
The 12-ton statue of Robert E. Lee riding his horse was removed in September, and had become a focal point of protests for racial justice in Richmond – the former capital of the Confederate States in the Civil War.
The time capsule was found in the pedestal tower, about twenty feet above ground level.
Authorities thought the tower was embedded in the base of the plinth, and in September, work crews used cranes and other heavy equipment to move 21 blocks of granite, including some that weighed up to three tons.
Workers had also dug a large hole 1.5 m deep near the cornerstone of the plinth, hoping to find the time capsule.
Historians believe the capsule was implanted on October 27, 1887, and included about 60 items donated by 37 Richmond residents, many of whom were involved with the Confederacy, according to the governor’s office.
The state plans to keep the plinth until authorities decide what to do with the monument.
Amir Vera and Artemis Moshtaghian da CNN contributed to this report.
This content was originally created in English.
Reference: CNN Brasil
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