Duke University removes statue of Confederate general

Former Louisiana State Representative David Duke arrives to give remarks after a white nationalist protest was declared an unlawful assembly, Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. The nationalists were holding the rally to protest plans by the city of Charlottesville to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. (Shaban Athuman /Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke University has removed a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee days after it was vandalized.

The university said it removed the carved limestone likeness early Saturday morning from Duke Chapel amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy. A statue of Lee was at the heart of a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned deadly a week ago.

University president Vincent Price said in a letter to the campus community 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. Lee was among 10 historical figures depicted at the chapel.

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

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