Virginia hopes to remove time capsule along with Lee statue

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FILE – In this July 31, 2017, file photo, the sun sets behind the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. In a state where Confederate monuments have stood for more than a century and have recently become a flashpoint in the national debate over racial injustice, Virginians remain about evenly divided on whether the statues should stay or go, according to a new poll. The poll conducted this month by Hampton University and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 46% support removal of Confederate statues and 42% oppose removal. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – If a court clears the way, the state of Virginia will not just remove a soaring statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the city of Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue.

It will also excavate a little-known piece of history from inside the massive monument’s base: a 134-year-old copper time capsule. Historical records and recent imaging tests suggest the capsule’s presence. Some have speculated that it contains a rare, valuable and historically significant photo of a deceased President Abraham Lincoln.

The carefully planned removal project is contingent on the resolution of two still-pending lawsuits.

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