A controversial statue commemorating a US Civil War general has resurfaced on the lawn of a luxury West Texas golf resort owned by pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren, four years after it was removed from a Dallas park.

The 1935 bronze sculpture depicting Confederate General Robert E Lee was one of several Confederate monuments removed from public view in recent years due to changing attitudes to a civil war fought over the issue of slavery.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the statue was donated to Warren’s Lajitas Golf Resort in Terlingua, Texas in 2019.

Warren last year stepped down as chief executive of Energy Partners, the Dallas-based midstream company he co-founded in 1996, but remains chairman of the board.

Texas was one of 11 states that formed the breakaway Confederate States of America after Abraham Lincoln was elected on an anti-slavery platform in 1860.

Lee led the Confederate Army in the resulting Civil War, which killed as many as 750,000 soldiers before Lee was forced to surrender in 1865.

Supporters of the monuments say they should be retained for their historical significance and aesthetic value.

Scott Beasley, president of WSB Resorts and Clubs, which manages the Lajitas resort, called the sculpture, by Alexander Phimester Proctor, “a fabulous piece of art” that had been well received by the majority of guests, according to the Chronicle.

Critics point out however that Civil War monuments only began appearing in the South decades after the war ended and at a time of growing resistance to civil rights in the South and rising violence against black Southerners.

The Proctor sculpture had been in storage at Dallas’ Hensley Field, a former Naval Air Station, before it was sold at auction to an area lawyer for a reported $1.4 million, the newspaper said.

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