In June swelter, film magicians frost Byrd statue

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Who could have imagined Virginia’s conservative 50th governor whose political machine ruled Virginia for much of the 20th Century would be a Bolshevik?

Obviously, Gov. Harry F. Byrd Sr. was as far from a Communist as it gets. He pioneered Virginia’s debt-averse pay-as-you-go fiscal legacy, and his organization fought public school desegregation.

But his bronze in the northwestern corner of Capitol Square got a cameo Friday as the statue of some unnamed Soviet in filming for the movie “Killing Kennedy.” It was tinged with white to appear frosted, the surrounding lawn was covered in white plastic foam, and lush green foliage was sprayed white in an attempt to simulate midwinter Russia.

Extras clad in heavy wool coats and hats sweltered in midday temperatures above 90 degrees and 60 percent humidity.

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