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The Library of Congress has taken the Black Lives Matter art from its memorial.

The fence that was once between protesters at Lafayette Park and the White House at the White House in 2020 (also known by the Black Lives Matter Memorial) displayed hundreds of posters, artwork and signs left behind by protestors following George Floyd's murder.

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The Library of Congress has taken the Black Lives Matter art from its memorial.

The Library of Congress has taken the Black Lives Matter art from its memorial.

The fence that was once between protesters at Lafayette Park and the White House at the White House in 2020 (also known by the Black Lives Matter Memorial) displayed hundreds of posters, artwork and signs left behind by protestors following George Floyd's murder.

The fence was taken down by authorities in 2021. However, activists set out to preserve all artifacts -- each sign representing a piece of our nation's past.

Thanks to activists and archivists the artwork that was once a reminder of the movement is now being displayed online in an exhibit at the Library of Congress.

The Library says that more than 30 pieces are available online.

She was the guardian of the Black Lives Matter memorial. She now works to protect its art

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She was the guardian of the Black Lives Matter memorial. She now works to protect its art

Aliza Leventhal (head of technical services for prints and photography division of Library of Congress), stated that "[The Library] wants people see those signs and the messages and contextualize them together with other parts of the collection that discuss similar issues."

The collection was made possible by activists and archivists working together

Leventhal was the Library's curator of artwork and signs from fences. She worked with Nadine Seiler, the de facto curator, to create the digital collection.

She said that every day, new signs were appearing. Each sign was a different story being shared and added valuable layers to the ongoing conversation.

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Leventhal started to record the experience, keeping track of emotions and the experiences that were brought about by the display as the artwork covered the fence.

Leventhal stated that the signs included crafted art made at home or on-site, as well scrap paper with handwritten messages.

Volunteers took down over 800 pieces of artwork, signs, and banners as the fence was being taken down. Each one will be preserved in the hope of being archived.

Activists spent many months monitoring the fence and its artwork.

After Floyd's May 2020 murder, protesters gathered in Lafayette Park near the White House. Federal authorities quickly set up metal barricades around the park to stop people from entering. The fencing was put up on June 4, 2020 and removed on January 30, 2021.

Karen Irwin, a New York activist, and Seiler spent hours at the fence now known as Black Lives Matter Plaza. They worked together to save hundreds of pieces left by protesters. Seiler stated, "Whether it was going rain, snow, or ice we lived at that fence." "There was someone on that fence or within a few meters of it, wherever the police pushed me."

Seiler and other guards kept watch over the fence. The artwork became a symbol of the movement and a place people stopped to take pictures. This was in honor of what the fence and its signs represented.

However, the drive to save the artwork was sparked by demonstrations that saw protesters tear down signs on the fence.

Seiler said that part of her felt disregarded because people would pass and vandalize the stuff. "I made sure that the stuff wouldn't be torn down."

Some signs were distributed throughout the country

Seiler set out to save as many signs as possible after volunteers took down the 800+ signs.

They are currently being stored in a Washington, D.C. storage unit while they wait to be scanned at Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Free Library, which is a joint project with D.C. Public Library.

As part of the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a small number of signs were displayed in Tulsa (Okla.) last year. A few of them were also collected and displayed by Howard University.

NPR published a story last October that indicated that the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tenn., as well as the George Floyd Street Art Archive and Anti-Racist street art databases expressed interest in receiving artwork for exhibitions and archives.

Seiler states that once all the 800-plus items have been scanned the gifting process will officially start for the artwork.

She says that organizers of the D.C. chapter Black Lives Matter would prefer the pieces to remain in the hands Black organizations. Seiler stated that regardless of where the pieces land, she hopes that people will recognize their value and the messages they carry.

Seiler stated, "I don’t know what it’s going to take. But whoever takes some must agree to care for them."

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