Duke University removes statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee

Lawrence Kim
August 19, 2017

A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at Duke University in North Carolina has been defaced.

Lee's likeness is one of 10 historical figures lining the main entryway to the neo-Gothic church.

A fresh debate over Confederate symbols has roiled the U.S. since Saturday's violence during a protest by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, against the removal of a Lee statue in which one woman died.

University president Vincent Price said in a letter that he conferred with members of the campus community, including faculty, staff, students and alumni, to make the decision.

Thursday, university officials reported that the vandalism took place overnight, as the local and national debate sparks over whether these monuments should stand.

"The statue will be preserved so that students can study Duke's complex past and take part in a more inclusive future", Price said in the email, which was also published on Duke's website. Eight people have now been arrested over Monday's toppling.

Other monuments around the state have been vandalized since the Charlottesville protest.

Gov. Roy Cooper has urged the removal of Confederate monuments from public property around the state, though his goal would be hard to achieve because of a 2015 state law restricting their removal.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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