Demark Vesey statue, vandalized last May, will need additional restorative work after recent discovery

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A statue of Denmark Vesey, which was undergoing repairs after being vandalized in Hampton Park last spring, will need additional restorative work, according to Charleston city leaders.

An engraved granite slab on the front of the statue was damaged by vandals in May 2021.

Crews with the city parks department and expert representatives began the final phase of repairs for the statue Thursday morning, during which the statue was detached from its base so the existing frame could be replaced.

City leaders said that while removing the damaged granite and conducting an assessment, a contractor discovered extensive water infiltration, which has caused causing the interior of the statue’s existing steel frame to rust and become unstable.

They also noted that the capstone had become deformed due to inadequate internal support.

“Based on the new findings of degradation, a new frame will be fabricated from stainless steel to prevent rusting,” city leaders said. “The new frame will also feature improved center supports, as well as a new concrete base that will raise the interior elevation of the monument to eliminate any future ponding.”

When the work is complete, crews will install the improved frame, face stone and capstones, replace the brick base trim, and return the statue to its base.

“The work and generosity displayed by the community throughout this process has been nothing short of remarkable. I look forward to completing this final phase of this work, and am confident that our citizens will be pleased with the outcome,” said City of Charleston Parks Director Jason Kronsberg.

A local contractor volunteered to replace the engraved front-facing granite slab free of charge after it was vandalized last May.

City leaders said if the contractor does not run into any supply chain issues, they expect the work to be completed sometime before the end of March.

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