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National Cathedral will install stained-glass windows to replace Confederate generals

National Cathedral will install stained-glass windows to replace Confederate generals
American artist Kerry James Marshall smiles Thursday at the Washington National Cathedral after the dean, Randy Hollerith, announced that he would create new racial justice-themed stained glass windows for the cathedral's southern wall. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Racial-justice-themed stained-glass windows at the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., will replace ones that commemorated Confederate generals and were taken down in 2017.

The cathedral announced Thursday that artist Kerry James Marshall will create the new windows, while poet Dr. Elizabeth Alexander will inscribe a poem in stone tablets alongside the display. Completion is expected in 2023.

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The former windows -- which commemorate Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson -- were permanently taken down in 2017 and will be loaned to the Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

They will be a part of the museum's exhibit, "Make Good the Promises: Reconstruction and Its Legacies," cathedral officials announced. The exhibit features more than 175 objects, 300 images, and 14 interactive media programs.

The windows will remain on display until August 2022 and will return to the cathedral once the exhibit ends.

The Rev. Marshall Hollerith, dean of the cathedral, said that the move will "help educate the public about our country's racist past and point all Americans toward a more just and inclusive future."

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In 2017, leaders decided to remove the windows after two years of discussions.

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