NBC12 Viewpoint: ‘Rumors of War’ sculpture unveiled!

Published: Dec. 16, 2019 at 7:19 AM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In the beginning, there was dampness and rain. There were no crowds and I wondered for a moment would Richmond show up. You see this was no ordinary unveiling of just another important installation at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, but this was Kehinde Wiley’s long-awaited Rumors of War.

The rain stopped, the clouds parted and Richmond showed up! Not only did the Richmond region show up, but it showed out. Many of you already know that when Kehinde Wiley visited Richmond about a year ago he made the decision that there needed to be a healing and unifying, a symbol on Arthur Ashe Boulevard following his tour of the monuments on Monument Avenue.

It goes without saying, that the Rumors of War sculpture is monumental and magnificent. But it was so gratifying to see nearly five thousand people of every persuasion gathered to see this historic unveiling. If you were there or witnessed it on TV, you will remember that there was a little drama with the draping. She just didn’t want to make it easy for the RVA to say hello. The crowd was asked to go inside until the problem could be fixed, but the overwhelming majority of the thousands assembled on the VMFA lawn did not move.

Not too long before the natural daylight would be lost the Rumors of War was unveiled to a thunderous cheer from the crowd.

I think Kehinde said it best: In these toxic times, art can help us transform and give us a sense of purpose.

Indeed, Richmond has a sense of purpose.

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