Duke University removes damaged Robert E. Lee statue

Duke University removes statue of Robert E. Lee from chapel

The administration of Duke University in North Carolina removed a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the entryway of its historic campus chapel Saturday morning.

The university said it removed the statue in the early morning from Duke Chapel where it stood among 10 historical figures in the entryway.

The decision to remove the statue from the Durham, N.C., campus, comes after it was defaced on Wednesday and follows violent clashes last week in Charlottesville, Va., between right-wing extremists and counterprotesters over plans to remove another statue of Lee.

As part of this effort, I am creating a commission, to include faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees and members of the Durham community, to advise on next steps and to assist us in navigating the role of memory and history at Duke.

And President Donald Trump basically called General Lee a "fool" earlier today when he tweeted out an attack on anyone who opposes these statues.

Duke University said the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue was found vandalized on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. Lee from its campus amid an intensifying national debate over Confederate statues and monuments.

Duke University removes statue of Robert E. Lee from chapel

On Monday in downtown Durham, a bronze Confederate statue was torn down by demonstrators.

Another local Confederate memorial, UNC Chapel Hill's "Silent Sam" statue on McCorkle Place, has been vandalized repeatedly in recent years, usually with spray paint.

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.

On Thursday, Duke President Vince Price said people should respect the university's process for dealing with the issue.

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