Patricia N. Saffran, The Case of the Dangling Torso

Patricia N. Saffran

[Editor’s note: Featured image of Taliban using a rocket launcher to destroy artifacts and remnants of past ages and diverse cultures, which the world has condemned.]

Since 1890, the statue of Robert E. Lee on a thoroughbred horse graced Monument Avenue in Richmond, VA. On September 8, 2021, the statue was hoisted off its plinth and later the torso was hacksawed in two. Throughout the removal an audience of activists screamed wildly below.

Devon Henry, CEO and president of Team Henry Enterprises, had the contract for the Lee removal. He was paid $1.8 million to remove the Monument Avenue’s city owned sculptures. The funds came directly from the Department of Public Works. Funds were supposed to be reimbursed by private donors through a new non-profit, The Fund to Move the Monuments, founded in July 2020. The donations were to be transferred to the city through the Maggie Walker Community Land Trust. To date donations have not been as brisk with only several thousand raised. Other government entities funded by taxpayers will make up the huge difference. It would seem that the wider public has little enthusiasm for this issue.

As to the other statues on the avenue, Team Henry Enterprises had previously carted off General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and General J.E.B. Stuart and Commander Matthew Maury, a Confederate naval officer, astronomer and famous author who never even fought in the Civil War, but created naval instruments and charts that are still used today. The statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis had already been thrown down by activists.

The Lee statue was commissioned in 1886 from renown French Beaux-Arts sculptor, Antonin Mercié. He used a natural style that fostered monumentality. Mercié used a Thoroughbred for his equine model rather than a smaller American Saddlebred like Lee’s Traveler. The sculpture cost $52,000, or $1,513,349 today, a fraction of the value to commission the massive statue and plinth today, but still a sum that made the activists’ unimpeded attacks on the sculpture, with police stand downs, all the more reckless.

The granite base designed by Paul Pojul, which contains bronze plaques and decorative friezes, will be removed in pieces at a future date.

During the Lee statue removal, one of Devon Henry’s employees was perched high up in a cherry picker. Instead of acting like a professional, he madly waved his arms to spur on the audience of activists below who especially cheered Lee’s bizarre hacksawed torso.

The heavy dangling torso, with reins detached, was hoisted with the crane and loaded onto a flatbed truck along with the horse for its journey into oblivion, or for the time being a secret warehouse. The effect was that of a shock and awe event.

Was it necessary for Lee to be cut in two or was the removal designed to be a sensationalistic performance for the raving mob and media? Experts question the hacksawing.

Art conservator, F. Carey Howlet, of F. Carey Howlet and Associates of Montross, VA wrote,

“I was certainly in favor of the removal of the Lee statue and all other memorials to the “Lost Cause” on Monument Avenue in Richmond and elsewhere — this was long overdue — but as a conservator of historic objects I have concerns about damage to any works of art. I was surprised to see the statue cut into pieces as I’m sure it would have been possible to remove it intact.”

Brigadier General (Ret.) Parker Hills, a battlefield preservationist and author of Art of Commemoration, a book on the monuments and art in Vicksburg National Military Park, writes,

“It’s one thing for the governor to finally get his way by having the statue removed after successfully having the statue of Thomas Jonathan Jackson removed from the VMI campus last year. It’s another thing for the governor and other complicit officials to take a saw to the Lee statue. The intent of the sawing and the message it sent were viciously clear. The long and short of it is that this was a premeditated act of vandalism by government officials. The Taliban used dynamite in 2001, and twenty years later the Governor of Virginia used a power saw, but the message was the same, which is the deliberate and vicious elimination of anything that offends the party in power.”


It turns out that the Lee statue could have efficiently been transported in one piece.

Brian Howard the eminent art conservator/co-owner of B.R. Howard and Associates in Carlisle, PA, was the consultant on the Lee statue. Both he and his co/owner wife Jolene said on the phone on September 14, that they wanted to use a helicopter, and the city said “no.” He said that the city may not have thought it would be safe enough. Brian insisted it was the only way to transport the piece intact.

The governor’s office has not responded to my inquiry as to why a helicopter couldn’t have been used, without cutting the valuable statue into pieces. The governor’s office had a whole year to plan this removal as evidenced from their report dated July 2, 2020. The report assumes the sculpture will be cut for transport.

Mr Howard explained that because he couldn’t use a helicopter he had to cut the statue. He said,

“If you were in Richmond you’d understand that the weight and size made a cut necessary to fit the sculpture safely on a truck and get it through the streets. The statue is 12 tons and 27 feet across. It’s bottom heavy and that made balance on the flatbed truck important. It couldn’t have been transported on a truck in one piece for that reason. No roads would have accommodated it.”

Heavy lifting helicopters with slings are routinely used by the military, construction, and for moving sculptures elsewhere such as in Vicksburg. The City may not have been justified  for saying “no” to a helicopter removal. A Chinook CH-47 helicopter in the U.S. Army inventory could have transported the statue intact. It can lift up to 26,000 pounds, so the 12 ton Lee statue (24,000 pounds) is within its lifting capacity.

As to the torso cut, Brian Howard explained that he studied the piece and decided to make a cut where there was an original joint put in with bronze pins. Brian said,

“We didn’t have time to remove the pins and it would have been better if we did, but the way we hacksawed the sculpture will make it easy to reattach without any noticeable seams . . . the conservators made the cuts including through the base.  It can be put back together without a problem if they want to. . . ” He said, “The sculpture arrived safely with no damage to the warehouse, at an undisclosed location.”

Mr Howard explained,

“It’s as fine an equestrian sculpture as can be found anywhere in the country. We tried to remove it in such a way as to do as little damage as possible and to respect the artist. We had a large ground staff including many police and other workers to keep the area safe. For that reason, we had a limited time frame to remove the sculpture.”

The Lee statue on was on state land governed by deeds. Removal took place only after two court challenges and a recent ruling by the Virginia Supreme Court, stating “Values change and public policy changes too.” Protection for War Memorials in town jurisdictions, including the other avenue sculptures had already been rescinded.

Many in Richmond disagreed with the removal of the valuable irreplaceable Beaux Arts Confederate statues on Monument Avenue. The removal of Robert E. Lee is just the latest removal that has been widely and falsely reported. It wasn’t supported by the public but the media has been ignoring this.

Every district in Richmond no matter what type of neighborhood had voted to extend Monument Avenue, not take down statues, according the to Monument Avenue Commission report of July 2, 2018. After the districts voted, Mayor Levar Stoney and the City Council ignored the citizens of Richmond, and never ordered one statue to extend the avenue. It seems that they and Governor Ralph Northam had their own undemocratic agenda.

When protests erupted in Richmond that were largely unchallenged by police including those following the death of George Floyd, the governor and mayor proclaimed it wasn’t safe to keep the statues in public.

In July 2020, Governor Northam issued a report with his personal view on history, claiming he could be justified to take down Lee.  He said,

“In Virginia, we no longer preach a false version of history. One that pretends the Civil War was about “state rights” and not the evils of slavery. No one believes that any longer.”

General Hills, reacting to Northam’s opinion states,

“Try convincing the State of Texas, which has been belittled recently by Biden and is being sued by his Justice Department, that states rights was not an issue in 1861, nor is it an issue in 2021.”

Since the governor ignored Richmond district voting where the majority wanted to keep the statues, his personal opinions (and those of the activists) is irrelevant. Unfortunately, due to the rash actions of Virginia’s governor, Richmond mayor and City Council, Monument Avenue only has one intact statue left, Arthur Ashe. A plan to redesign the avenue is forthcoming.

Local residents have written to me that they now try to avoid downtown because they are ashamed by what the city has done. Richmond, ironically, has emulated the Taliban. And the former multimillion dollar Richmond tourism industry, with visitors coming from Europe and elsewhere to view and admire the magnificent statues on Monument Avenue, has a gaping hole.  


Richmond just unveiled a new bronze statue on September 23, 2021, two miles from the Lee removal site. It’s called The Emancipation and Freedom Monument by Thomas Jay Warren. The question is who paid for the statue? Also, why wasn’t it used to extend Monument Avenue, and keep the Beaux Arts Confederate statues in their locations, which is the scheme Richmond citizens voted for? This brazen act of “statue replacement” reveals that the mayor, the governor and the city council are completely out of touch with their constituents.


(1) The Monument Avenue Commission Final Report

(2) Governor Northam’s statement on Lee removal, and BR Howard art consulting report


(3) Lee family and history about slaves.

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33 thoughts on “Patricia N. Saffran, The Case of the Dangling Torso”

  1. Pingback: Patricia N. Saffran, The Naming Game - James H. Fetzer
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  3. Found this on Stone this AM…no grain of salt necessary here. This is an actual statement from a well qualified 20 year veteran Army doctor with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel who spent about 15 pages listing credentials and then started dropping bombshells.

    “I personally observed the most physically fit female Soldier I have seen in over 20 years in the Army, go from Collegiate level athlete training for Ranger School, to being physically debilitated with cardiac problems, newly diagnosed pituitary brain tumor, thyroid dysfunction within weeks of getting vaccinated. Several military physicians have shared with me their firsthand experience with a significant increase in the number of young Soldiers with migraines, menstrual irregularities, cancer, suspected myocarditis and reporting cardiac symptoms after vaccination. Numerous Soldiers and DOD civilians have told me of how they were sick, bed-ridden, debilitated, and unable to work for days to weeks after vaccination. I have also recently reviewed three flight crew members’ medical records, all of which presented with both significant and aggressive systemic health issues. Today I received word of one fatality and two ICU cases on Fort Hood; the deceased was an Army pilot who could have been flying at the time. All three pulmonary embolism events happened within 48 hours of their vaccination. I cannot attribute this result to anything other than the Covid 19 vaccines as the source of these events. Each person was in top physical condition before the inoculation, and each suffered the event within 2 days post vaccination. Correlation by itself does not equal causation, however, significant causal patterns do exist that raise correlation into a probable cause; and the burden to prove otherwise falls on the authorities such as the CDC, FDA, and pharmaceutical manufacturers. I find the illnesses, injuries and fatalities observed to be the proximate and causal effect of the Covid 19 vaccinations.
    The shots carry mRNA that causes the recipient to create trillions of spike proteins. This is a problem for five reasons. First, it turns out that the spike proteins are not remaining locally in the (shoulder) injection site but have been found circulating in the blood and in virtually all organs of the body. Second, the spike proteins themselves have been shown to be pathogenic (disease causing) attaching to endothelial, pulmonary and other cells, forming clots and attacking heart cells. Third, the spike proteins and their lipid nanoparticles cross the blood brain barrier, with unknown long-term effects on the brain and high concern for chronic neurodegenerative disorders. Fourth, these spike proteins interact in many signaling pathways which may trigger tumor formation, cancer, and other serious diseases. Fifth, according to Pfizer’s Japanese distribution study of LNP accumulation, unexpected sequestering in reproductive organs and spleen raise very serious long-term concerns.************** As aircrew Training Program (ATP) 5-19, 1-8 states we shall: Accept No Unnecessary Risk. “An unnecessary risk is any risk that, if taken, will not contribute meaningfully to mission accomplishment or will needlessly endanger lives or resources.” ************************Army leaders accept only a level of risk in which the potential benefit outweighs the potential loss. From a risk management assessment perspective, with no long-term safety data regarding these five issues, this is an unacceptable risk management risk.
    I have reviewed the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction which discusses the issue of prior immunity benefits outweighing the risks of using experimental Covid 19 Vaccines, together with proposed exhibits and materials cited therein. In opinion on this subject matter, I am also drawing my own conclusions that will be put into practice in my current role as an Army flight surgeon knowing full well the horrific repercussions this decision may befall me in terms of my career, my relationships and life as an Army doctor.”
    I can report of knowing over fifteen military physicians and healthcare providers who have shared experiences of having their safety concerns ignored and being ostracized for expressing or reporting safety concerns as they relate to COVID vaccinations. The politicization of SARs-CoV-2, treatments and vaccination strategies have completely compromised long-standing safety mechanisms, open and honest dialogue, and the trust of our service members in their health system and healthcare providers.
    This doctor only saw a small portion of the problem, whatever soldiers she was over. If you want to see the entire document, use these search terms: THERESA MARIE LONG, MD, MPH, FS LTC, MEDICAL CORPS, U.S. Army

    ME…..Understand that if our military LEADERS are allowing this to go forward, they are not a friend of WE THE PEOPLE and are not serving in our best interest. THAT is treason. Plain and simple!

  4. I’m going to say something here that others will not. IF you send your child to school in the present political atmosphere, YOU are enabling pedophilia. A few examples follow, but there are literally hundreds all over the WEB. Look, I don’t give a damn what consenting ADULTS do with each other….BUT, allowing 4th graders to read this from the school libraries is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE. YOUR taxes are paying for this trash. Call me a prude…I do not give a damn! I have said it before and will continue to say it…a country that cannot protect it’s own children is FINISHED. Over! Done!

  5. Anyone watched the Maricopa Country electiongate senate hearing? Shiva from MIT was pretty good, the second and third presentations were a bit dry for average viewers. I know we don’t have those here! My connection crapped out during the third presentation. There seemed to be buffering issues wondering if anyone had the same trouble. I know my connection was pretty good. I hope the Physicist guy gets last word, he was their most compelling presenter at the Cyber Symposium He’s the one that figured out how they cheated in all 50 states. They jacked the numbers by extrapolating the 2010 census for eligible voters forward 10 years, since the 2020 Census wasn’t finished before election. By figuring out the percentage in one country, the Physics Guy was able to predict every county in the state’s numbers… for every state he’s worked on so far and I think it was like 24 states at that point a few weeks ago. Let me know what you think about the hearings?

      1. I saw the first TV in a four or five months last night. Rachel MadCow was calling the audit a fraud and I imagine every network is doing the same thing trying to poison everyone before they get t see the audit.

  6. I always liked the song.
    So Lee fought against the north.
    Seems they pulled down the statue because they say the south was pro slavery.
    Oh well.
    As we know slavery is not do simple as some make out, and evidently still exists. Currently here in Melbourne Aistralia I am lockef up like a criminal and they want me to take vax I don’t want. I am their slave.

    1. I can’t remember if I’ve ever reply to to you BillAu on this blog site site. But I wish you all the best and to say fair dikum Mate and hang in there. I lived in Melbourne in 1998 thru mid 99. With a old girlfriend who was a teacher. We live off Rowe St. in Fitzroy North. I use to go running around Edinburgh Garden late at night and paddling on the Yarra River. What fun and exciting times that was. Keep the good fight Mate and there is a God.

      1. Thanks for that. I am hanging in. Yes. I was Christian, now I just believe in God. I call myself a “Thiest”, when I fill out forms that ask. I can go about because of work as a civil engineer doing soi tests for building, but especialy lately with the vaccine mandates and the premier shutting down construction (whatever that means). The road block was on again up the Calder Hwy when I went yesterday, luckily I filled out the new form properly. I coukd have been fined. The cops said they weren’t doing it, but they did.


    I like this song, it mentions Roert E Lee
    The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” is a song written by Robbie Robertson and originally recorded by the Canadian-American roots rock group The Band in 1969 and released on their eponymous second album. Levon Helm provided the lead vocals. The song is a first-person narrative relating the economic and social distress experienced by the protagonist, a poor white Southerner, during the last year of the American Civil War, when George Stoneman was raiding southwest Virginia. The song appeared at number 245 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
    Robert E. Lee was a Confederate general who led the South’s attempt at secession during the Civil War. He challenged Union forces during the war’s bloodiest battles, including Antietam and Gettysburg, before surrendering to Union General Ulysses S

    1. The Band was one of the great bands of all time…highly underrated. I hope you have seen The Last Waltz (which I personally see as the greatest R&R movies of all time)….if not, please do…And that particular song is incredibly powerful. All the members of The Band are gone now, except Robbie…

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  9. Just when I got burned out on the Kung Flu coverage, Project Veritas has an under cover video of an FDA official recommending blow darting vaccines into the reluctant Black population. It’s beyond the pale. This could be one of those deep fakes, it’s unreal they would hire a “man” like this

  10. Our culture and history is being destroyed as we type. The future will have little respect for what we have allowed. But, it’s likely our presence will also be erased.
    One has to give them credit for a plan that’s been many, many years in the making and seems to be coming to completion.

    What a fucking nightmare.

    What’s left to say?

    1. On behalf of EJDOYLE:

      If only we were warned in advance :-/
      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      Congressional Record–Appendix, pp. A34-A35
January 10, 1963
Current Communist Goals
Thursday, January 10, 1963

      17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

      20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

      21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

      22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to “eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms.”

      23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. “Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art.”

      30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the “common man.”

      31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the “big picture.” Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

      32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture–education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

      1. Will, our off blog interaction turned out to be uncomfortable for me, and possibly threatening security wise for us as you well know with the Proton email exchange from someone hacking into it.

        EDITED OUT: EJD, you ought to know better. I am offended by your personal attacks!

        This personality clashing (from others as well with you, me, etc.) is part of the reason I initially chose to stay away from Jim’s blog. I will again leave to avoid any confrontational nonsense not needed here or anywhere considering where life is right now. Please don’t take this any further, not needed, this is a political blog, not a personal journal as we have discussed.

        If you get a non-Proton email account you can always write me with that.

        My best to you.

      2. So, EJ…it seems personal insults are now acceptable on this blog. Good to know.
        Believe me, Doctor. Doyle..I will not bother you or this blog any longer.

      3. I edited it out. I don’t get it. He seems to be very smart and publish a lot of good stuff so I am more than a bit baffled by this turn of events. Personal attacks are not welcome. Sorry about that!

      4. Thanks, Jim….I don’t get it either. I don’t care to come across as a victim and will defend myself in any debate, but these past personal attacks just leave me cold.

    2. I didn’t realize your need for being the comment cop had come true.

      If you will please post all your rules as to what is appropriate here I will try and follow them.

      [ FYI: Jim posted my comment for me because it wouldn’t take after 4 tries. He inadvertently put it as a reply to you when it should have been a general post. ]

      Don’t poke the bear.

      1. Screw the bear…How many times have you harassed folks here because they did not read your stuff or did not post solutions and just more info. I’m just calling you out on your hypocrisy. You are not perfect, EJ…..none of us are.

        …signed, Your bi-polar friend….

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