The national debate on monuments to the Confederacy has led to the removal of the carved limestone on Saturday morning from the Duke Chapel.
Duke University removed the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday, days after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy.
The institution revealed that it removed the carved limestone likeness early Saturday morning from Duke Chapel where it stood among 10 historical figures depicted in the entryway.
The violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to the removal of the statue of Lee sometime last week.
Vincent Price, who is the University president wrote a letter to the campus community revealing that he consulted with faculty, staff, students and alumni about the decision to remove the statue. Officials discovered early Thursday that the statue’s face had been damaged by vandalism.
In his letter, Price said that he resulted in that decision so as to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of the university.
The debate over Confederate statues has placed its focus on Durham after protesters tore down a bronze Confederate soldier in front of a government building downtown. Eight people have been charged with tearing down the statue during a protest on Monday.
A peaceful demonstration against racism saw hundreds march on Friday through downtown Durham, leading to an impromptu rally at the site where the bronze statue was toppled. Elsewhere, there have been calls to take down a Confederate soldier statue from the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Gov. Roy Cooper has urged the removal of Confederate monuments from public property around the state, though his goal would be difficult to achieve because of a 2015 state law restricting their removal. Duke is a private university and outside the scope of that law